Hen that thinks it's a dog takes litter of puppies under its wing
March 5, 2010 2:34 PM   Subscribe

A hen in Shrewsbury, England takes a litter of puppies under her wing, and other animals that take in other species.
posted by Tlery (22 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

No one knows what it's like... to be a pupp-y... in Shrews-bury... with mother hens...
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:35 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Very cute, though I fear it may not end well for the hen.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:44 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

In the last link, the dog's head is spinning around in a Dharma Initiative logo. THIS MEANS SOMETHING
posted by brain_drain at 2:44 PM on March 5, 2010

"Aww, so cute. And that's your local news for tonight. Tomorrow, Joe the Greengrocer shows us what to look for when you're buying avocados!"
posted by longsleeves at 2:47 PM on March 5, 2010

'T ain't right, as it goes agin' nature!

That's what I was going to say, that is, until I saw Dammy with her kittens. Now I just want to hug something warm.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:48 PM on March 5, 2010

Awwwww! Falsely triggering parenting behavior in animals, leading to the huge expenditure of resources normally reserved for their own offspring on totally unrelated animals is so cuuuuuute!

I mean it. It's super cute.
posted by gurple at 2:49 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

The mothering instincts of some animals is nothing short of crazy. Typing "cat adopts" into youtube will yield you a ton of just strangeness.
posted by quin at 3:06 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

A nightmarish version of this story: brood parasitism and The Common Cuckoo.

"At the appropriate moment, the hen cuckoo flies down to the Reed Warblers' nest, pushes one Reed Warbler egg out of the nest, lays an egg and flies off. The whole process is achieved in only about 10 seconds.

Cuckoo chicks methodically evict all host progeny from host nests. It is a much larger bird than its hosts, and needs to monopolise the food supplied by the parents. The Cuckoo chick will roll the other eggs out of the nest by pushing them with its back over the edge. If the Reed Warbler's eggs hatch before the Cuckoo's egg, the Cuckoo chick will push the other chicks out of the nest in a similar way. Once the Reed Warbler chicks are out of the nest, the parents completely ignore them."
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 3:08 PM on March 5, 2010

That's where "cuckold" comes from.
posted by gurple at 3:10 PM on March 5, 2010

Why do people always say the animal "thinks it's [species of baby it adopted]?" Would you look at a person nursing a kitten from a bottle and say "that guy thinks he's a cat lol?"
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:32 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you see a human with a puppy, you don't immediately assume that the human thinks that itself is a canine and has adopted a puppy as its own progeny.

Perhaps the hen just thought the puppies were cute and wanted some pets.
posted by coolguymichael at 3:35 PM on March 5, 2010

Jinx on preview!
posted by coolguymichael at 3:36 PM on March 5, 2010

I'm hearing in the article that the chicken is always cold and the puppies are warm. I think this is more about a bunch of puppies being a good place to sit than anything else.
posted by amethysts at 3:57 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think this is more about a bunch of puppies being a good place to sit than anything else.

I would totally climb into a basket full of puppies, and I am reasonably sure that I am neither a hen nor a puppy myself.
posted by elizardbits at 4:08 PM on March 5, 2010 [6 favorites]

These are signs of the impending Last Days, as noticed by Lord Percy in Blackadder:

Percy: Look, look, I just can't take the pressure of all these omens anymore!
Edmund: Percy...
Percy: No, no, really, I'm serious! Only this morning in the courtyard I saw a horse with two heads and two bodies!
Edmund: Two horses standing next to each other?
Percy: Yes, I suppose it could have been.
posted by Abiezer at 4:19 PM on March 5, 2010

Nature has no DRM.
posted by Elmore at 4:35 PM on March 5, 2010

When Surya, the orangutan, meets a hound dog by the river, the two carry on like long lost friends.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:24 AM on March 6, 2010

A nightmarish version of this story: brood parasitism and The Common Cuckoo.

... Wait a second.

Honey. could you come here? Does that look like our son?
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:25 AM on March 6, 2010

The end of the lion/oryx video in the second link has scarred me for life.
posted by Jess the Mess at 8:32 AM on March 6, 2010

Yeah, damned Hungarians!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:56 AM on March 6, 2010

I defy you to watch this and not say "awwww", even if it's just silently, in the deepest pit of your cold, cold heart.
posted by essexjan at 11:06 AM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

We had a kitten that "adopted" a rooster as her parental figure. She was abandoned in the barn around 7 weeks old. We brought her food, but she was mostly feral and scared of human contact. She somehow convinced our grouchy old rooster to be her friend. She would curl up around his feet and play with his comb. When we moved the rooster into the chicken coop a few years later, the cat found a way to sneak into the chickens' outdoor run, and where she would sit for hours, purring, and watch the chickens. She grew up to be a wonderful, friendly barn cat, and a good mother.

I'm a sucker for stories like this!
posted by amarie at 4:09 PM on March 6, 2010

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