Chalk it up to an identity crisis or a gross misunderstanding of the principles of biology, but one thing's for sure - someone has to tell the one-year-old hen Mable that she didn't give birth to a litter of puppies!
Edward and Ros Tate, a couple that own a farm in Shrewsbury, England, let their prized hen into the house for the winter to recover from an injured foot, PeoplePets.com reports.
But Mable got a little too comfortable as a domestic pet. When the Tate's Jack Russell terrier, Nettle, gave birth to a litter of four puppies, Mabel closely observed how the dog cared for her puppies, and then assumed her maternal responsibilities as soon as Nettle turned her back.
Ros Tate told the news source that Mable "just climbed on top of them. She went all broody, and now she keeps climbing into their basket with them and shooing their mum off."
Edward added, "Nettle was a bit startled to say the least, but she didn't mind too much eventually. She's happy to have a helping pair of wings," according to the Telegraph.
Two of the puppies have already been purchased by new families, and will leave the Tate home in several weeks. To adopt a dog without the fear of disturbing an aggressive mother hen, consider stopping by a local animal shelter.