Labrador Retriever becomes a ‘foster parent’ by taking 15 orphaned ducklings under his paw

A Labrador Retriever who was once an adoptive father recently took in 15 orphaned ducklings.

Fred is a 15 year old resident of Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, England. In early July, the castle posted photos of the feathered brood canine on Facebook, and wrote: “Fred has become a foster parent for the second time in 5 years…Bravo Fred.


The ducklings were orphaned when their mother mysteriously disappeared from the castle one night. However, not wanting to leave them alone, Fred immediately took care of them.

A short video clip shows the ducklings lying on Fred’s back in the sun, around his paws, and even being carried by him.

“Our little dog dad took the ducklings for a spin in the garden today in the sunshine,” Mountfitchet Castle posted on Facebook.

The ducklings are expected to be with Fred until they are old enough to survive on their own.

Epoch Times Photo

For Fred’s owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, this comes as no surprise.

“In the 15 years of owning him, Fred has spent a lot of time at the castle with the animals and it has become second nature to him to be among the various rescued animals,” Jeremy told SWNS, reported. DailyMail.

In 2018, then 10-year-old Fred acted as a surrogate parent for nine orphaned ducklings. He cared for them until they were old enough to blend into the grounds of the medieval castle with the other animals that roam freely on the site.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo

The following year, Fred resumed his role as adoptive father and cared for 7-day-old ducklings.

According to a Facebook post from the castle, the mother of the ducklings, a Muscovy duck, had 14 babies but left half of them in the nest as she walked to the nearest pond with the other ducklings.

When Fred was introduced to the abandoned ducklings, he immediately lay down with them to keep them warm. Witnessing this heartwarming gesture, the owner and staff of the chateau breathed a sigh of relief.

“He assumed his role like a duck in the water,” reads on Facebook. “Within minutes, the ducklings accepted their strange-looking new mum and climbed on top of her.”

Watch Fred play the role of an adoptive father:

(Video credit: Newsflare)

Share your stories with us at [email protected], and keep getting your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Inspired newsletter at