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Great Dane 'adopts' 30 chick hatchlings

April 27, 2011 at 10:13 AM

KELOWNA, British Columbia, April 27 (UPI) -- A young male Great Dane has turned maternal and is helping to rear 30 chicks in British Columbia, its owners said.

The 16-month-old dog named Marmaduke took an interest in the brood before they even hatched at Eco Turf Farms in Kelowna when owner Sue Paull brought the chicken eggs indoors to incubate, The (Vancouver) Province reported.

"He watched them all hatch and he was so curious," Paull told the newspaper. "When we put them in the box, he just took one out and started cleaning them."

The 115-pound dog shows no interest in full-grown chickens at the farm, but has a distinct inclination for the baby birds.

"Every time you go near the box, he has to be there," Paull said. "He's just very curious and makes sure they go back in the box."

Marmaduke has also been "fostering" an 8-month-old baby goat since its birth, she said.

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