All of Fred the Labrador’s life, he has been surrounded by animals of all shapes and sizes. Anybody who visits Mountfitchet Castle, a renovated Norman castle close to Stansted, Essex, will encounter Fred, the castle’s resident dog, who is a calm and kind presence.
At the early age of 10, Fred’s paternal instincts are finally put to the test.
The nine baby yellow ducklings were seen wandering aimlessly over the packed grounds on Thursday by castle staff.
Although the mother of the ducklings was not found, it is believed that she was abducted by a fox soon after her young were born. The ducklings had a little chance of surviving the perilous journey to the sea without a parent to lead them.
According to a Facebook post, “the crew was really worried about the ducklings, but Fred… quickly took to them and has been babysitting them ever since.”
Despite being a little bit larger and furrier than the mother of the ducklings, Fred has excelled as their foster father during the last week.
The castle’s owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, told The Dodo, “He grew up with me and my wife Jo in the castle and our house with rescued animals.” “We even kept a squirrel that we found on the side of the road for six months in the kitchen.”
The lost ducklings seem to have imprinted on Fred after being introduced to the dog since they have started following him around. Goldsmith said, “Fred connected to them quickly and has been excellent caring for them, even swimming in the castle moat every day.
Fred and his duckling children sleep in the same house basket once the day is done.
The Labrador has gotten used to being surrounded by nine little shadows, and the ducklings depend on Fred to keep them safe and warm.
Goldsmith said, “Fred has such a nice demeanor. He is a natural parent and father.
For the following two months, until the ducklings fledge and become independent, self-sufficient, and able to fly, Fred will probably remain at home with them. Fred is capable of handling the time-consuming responsibility of raising this family.
“[He] has a fantastic father instinct and has taken to all nine ducklings,” Goldsmith said. We are really proud of him.