Hen and puppies We hear all kinds of animal surrogate mother stories, from a doxie mothering a piglet to a dog mothering kittens but this is a new one!

Bronagh, a Blue Merle Collie, in Ireland, decided the best place to have her littler of puppies was Buffy, the clocking hen’s nest. So here begins the story of how six newborn puppies now have a surrogate mom in a usually reclusive hen named Buffy.

After the pups were born, Buffy took them under her wing while laying eggs at the same time. She’s hardly left her nest. Bronagh, the puppies’ mother, has taken the interference well. She feeds her babies a half dozen times a day or so and curls up with the puppies, hen and eggs every night.

Owners, Patricia and Philip McGroarty, were surprised and amazed at the unusual ‘family’.

“I have been rearing hens all my life and have never encountered anything like this before,” explained Phillip McGroarty.

“It is very much a case of Buffy going to the dogs.

“The pups are extremely healthy and are thriving under Buffy’s wings. So far they have not shown any hen-like mannerisms and I’m sure that they will turn out to be totally normal sheepdogs,” he added.

Patricia believes there is something we all can learn from Bronagh and Buffy. “On a more serious note, I honestly believe that this is nature telling us something, giving us a strong message that we can all learn from.

“It just illustrates that nature does not recognise differences in gender, sex, colour or physical attributes — perhaps something that we could adapt ourselves,” she added.

Yes, there is often much that we can learn from our pets and animals!

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