A Dog’s Best Friend is a…….Chicken?

Lucy, Effie and Flo

Okay, let me be more specific…..3 chickens!

Lucy, Effie and Flo

Lucy, Effie and Flo

My mother’s dog, Addy, is a very sweet Australian cattle dog mix.  My parents adopted her from the animal shelter back in 2001, when she was 3 years old.  My dad just loved Addy.

When we adopted our son, Kai, from China we spent a few days at my parent’s house, who were living in California at the time.  Addy was the first dog that Kai had ever met.

Australian cattle dog

My dad assured Kai that Addy was friendly and loved kids.

Addy is a ‘herding’ dog by nature.  The first object of her herding instinct was my parent’s black cat.  Addy was obsessed by her and would spend all of her time keeping track of the cat.

After the cat died (from old age), Addy transferred her attentions to the squirrels in my parent’s backyard.  I don’t think she was ever successful in actually catching one though.

After my parents moved to Arizona and my dad’s death, my mother along with my sister and her family moved to a small farm, which they call Double S Farms.  Addy was in heaven with a huge backyard and plenty of gophers to go after.

The other day as we were sitting on the back patio, I noticed 4 figures around the apple tree in the distance….

Australian cattle dog

Australian cattle dog

It was Addy and my sister’s 3 pet chickens.  Now, I knew that Addy got along with the chickens, but I didn’t know that the chickens just loved being around her.

Australian cattle dog

According to my sister, the chickens just love to hang out with Addy, even when she is sleeping outside.  They just settle in around her.

At the ripe old age of 14, I guess Addy finally got to lead a flock, so to speak ๐Ÿ˜‰

Addy was my dad’s special dog and although my mother loves her and takes care of her, I still think of her as my dad’s dog.

So, as I see her slow down, it is rather sad, because she is a link to my dad, who has been gone for 4 years now.

Australian cattle dog

But, she isn’t going anywhere soon…. except to run inside to escape the coming thunderstorm, along with her feathered best friends.


So, how about you?

Have you encountered any unusual friendships between animals?

I would love to hear about them!

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
9 replies
  1. David
    David says:

    Hi Noelle,
    It's nice to see chickens on another blog. I worked on our chicken run all day and my 6 chickens finally have a bigger home. I have read about unusual pet combinations, but never a dog herding chickens. What a fun post! I need to show our family cat. He doesn't know what to think of our chickens since they are now bigger than he is.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Gardens at Waters East
    Gardens at Waters East says:

    Noelle,, I doggie set for the neighbors, and often take Maddie for walks when they come up for the weekend from Chicago. I will have to take the dog Maddie to the other neighbor near here who has chickens to see if Maddie gets along as good as yours does. Like the posting you did today. jack

  3. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Hello Noelle, i haven't been here for awhile and it is always fascinating to read stories of your family, now interlinked with pets. I very well remember Kai and the Double S Farm and the amusing names of the people there, haha! We have pets which are like them too. Now you inspire me to post also our 2 goats, which always want to be inside the house, they think maybe they must be petted just like the cats.

  4. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    In the old house the feral chickens we fed made great friends with the feral cats we fed, when the cats had kittens two particular hens would "babysit" the kittens while their parents took a rest. The hens and then grown up kittens got along fine, the hens would eat from the cats' bowl.

    Of the 3 kittens only one became fully tamed despite my efforts to tame them, and we have him now in the new house.

  5. biobabbler
    biobabbler says:

    Oh, that's SO sweet. I LOVE when an animal (in this case herding dog) gets to do what all their genetic wiring WANTS them to do. It makes them SO happy and I LOVE that the chickens love her. That is adorable. =) I'm sure my chickens wish they had a doggie protector so they could venture out more often. =) Good work!

  6. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    How cute! I am glad Addy at last has a flock!

    Long ago we had a huge German shepherd who liked to herd other animals. He and my son often brought 'found' animals home. Shepherd was fascinated with some neighboring horses, who did not appreciate the attention! I think he was trying to herd them up and bring one home.

  7. Marguerite
    Marguerite says:

    I had to laugh when I heard the dog was trying to herd a cat. Anybody with a cat knows herding them is next to impossible! Glad she found some critters to manage and watch over. Sounds like a great relationship for everyone involved.

Comments are closed.