Have you ever seen a dog raise ducklings? The owners of Mountfitchet Castle hadn’t either until their 10-year-old labrador retriever Fred took it upon himself to save a gaggle of ducklings. Luckily, there was no way that Fred would allow the baby ducks fend for themselves after their mother left them. Read on to see how Fred became an adoptive dad to six orphaned ducklings.
In 2018, Fred the Labrador gained international attention when he decided to take six lost ducks under his wing. It all started at Mountfitchet Castle in England when Fred’s owner Jeremy Goldsmith came across nine orphaned ducklings. After bringing them into his home, Jeremey noticed that Fred had taken a shining to the young ducks. Jeremy explained that “we brought the ducklings into the house as they are too young to fend for themselves, and Fred just took them under his paw – rather than his wing. He’s got a lovely nature and has grown up around rescued animals.”
Since many different species of animals roamed the grounds at Mountfitchet Castle, Fred was used to being around other creatures. However, he had never actually stepped up to raise any other animals before. Once Fred bonded with the flock of ducklings, he constantly carried them around the castle on his back or his head. The dog even took them on fun adventures. Goldsmith recalled that “[the ducklings] climb all over him, getting up on his head and his back. When he goes swimming like Labradors like to, all the ducks follow him in and have fun too.” Talk about fun for the whole family!
Surprising, Fred was featured in the news again this year when he took on six more orphaned ducklings. When their mom, a Muscovy duck, abandoned them, Fred was more than willing to raise them as well. About the new additions to Fred’s family, Goldsmith shared, “Fred indicated straight away that there would be no ducking out of his duties as he settled in around them.” Goldsmith continued, “Within minutes the ducklings accepted their odd-looking new mum and were climbing all over him.”
As if nine wasn’t enough, Fred is now the father to a whopping 15 baby ducklings. The expanded family now enjoys their time traveling around Mountfitchet Castle, taking in the sun and the enormous property. Thankfully, Goldsmith keeps fans up to date with the latest pictures of Fred and his duckies on his Instagram account @mountfitchetcastle. In fact, a recent Instagram video of the dog and his flock had over 1,100 views!
Astonishingly enough, Fred isn’t the only interesting thing about Mountfitchet Castle. Spanning 10 acres, the medieval castle is home to peacocks, deer, and goats. Believe it or not, the castle once functioned as a hill fort during the Iron Age period. Then, it was transformed into the Norman Motte and Bailey Castle. Built entirely out of wood, it used to house Romans, Saxons, and Vikings back in the day. Incredibly, William the Conqueror led a military attack against the settlement in 1066.
Nowadays, Mountfitchet Castle stays modern by keeping its thousands of followers happy on social media. For example, the ancient castle has almost 2,000 followers, about 1,900 likes on Facebook, and over 1,300 check-ins on Facebook alone. Of course, their latest picture of Fred and his new little ducklings has over 70 likes. And when Voice of America reposted Fred’s video on its Facebook page, it received 272,000 views, 6,300 likes, and over 120 comments. We can’t wait to see what Fred and his extended family does next!
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