We often hear that parents are not those who give birth, but those who raise their children, giving their time, patience, and love. And who said that an adoptive parent is supposed to be from the same species? Nature never ceases to amaze us and the proof has recently been spotted in Iraq.

Kurdish farmer and soldier Goran A Surchi encountered something he wasn’t expecting in his chicken coop and got it on video. After their mother’s passing, three orphaned kitties needed shelter, warmth, and care, and this kind chicken took them under her feathers like her own. Quite literally.

More info: Instagram | tiktok.com

A farmer heard meows coming from the chicken coop and thought the chickens could be in danger

Image credits: @goran.surchi

He then realized the meows were surprisingly coming from under the chicken

Image credits: @goran.surchi

Image credits: @goran.surchi

When he lifted the hen, he spotted three tiny kittens instead of baby chicks

Image credits: @goran.surchi

“For some time now, I was hearing meows coming from our chicken coop and I was curious to know what was going on, as our chickens could be in danger. When I realized that the meows were coming from under the chicken, I decided to record it so as not to miss this unique moment and to my surprise, there were three beautiful kittens there,” Surchi told us about his cute encounter.

Image credits: @goran.surchi

A protective chicken named Lee took the kittens under her warm feathers after their mom passed away

Image credits: @goran.surchi

“Later we came to find the lifeless mother of the kittens. Unfortunately, she drowned in a lake near the farm.”

Image credits: @goran.surchi

“Amazing how our chicken seemed to know the story, thus resolving to take care of the kittens”

Image credits: @goran.surchi

Image credits: @goran.surchi

Surchi shared the adorable video on TikTok and it quickly went viral with 298.6k views

@goran.surchi😩😩♬ الصوت الأصلي – goran.a_88

To no one’s surprise, people absolutely loved it

Surchi visits his animals daily and always notices how compassionate and kind they are to each other.

Animals building unexpected friendships with other species and even taking on the role of a parent is a common occurrence in nature. Bored Panda has previously shared a wholesome list of animal buddies here and it might surprise you how unbelievable some of them are. Spoiler alert: dogs befriend a pelican, a cheetah, and an elephant, cats chill with rats and owls, a raccoon’s best friend is a giraffe, and a wolf is hanging out with a bear.