Labrador ‘adopts’ abandoned duckling after mother is killed by fox


Fred is a resident at Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, England and has grown up with chickens, goats, ducks and peacocks. When the castle staff found a duckling litter in the castle grounds without their mother duck, he suspects it had been eaten by a fox.

The golden Labrador decided to become a stand-in parent for nine ducklings after their mother disappeared without a trace.

Upon meeting the ducklings for the first time, Fred was smitten. He immediately stepped up to become their daddy. Being a 10-year-old dog, Fred is considered to be an elderly dog.

After his new-found fuzzy kids grew up and flew the coup, Fred stumbled across a second set of ducklings who needed his help.

The six birds were abandoned by their mother, a Muscovy duck, who walked off with six of their siblings.

That’s when Fred bravely stepped up, once again.

The 11-year-old dog noticed the ducklings huddled together and lay down next to them to keep them warm and safe.

Soon enough, the ducklings started to climb on top of his back and one brave bird even took a seat on Fred’s head. ‘He took to his role like a duck to water,’ said Jeremy Goldsmith, director of Mountfitchet Castle near Stansted, Essex, where Fred is the resident pet.

Fred has got an absolutely wonderful nature. They absolutely love him.

Jeremy said that Fred indicated straight away that there would be no ducking out of his duties as he settled in around them.

Within minutes the ducklings accepted their odd looking new mum and were climbing all over him.

And recently Fred began to teach his children to swim. The smart seems to understand that ducklings cannot live without water, and therefore takes them to “swimming lessons” every day.

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