Unlikely Animal Friendships; Lilly, Buckley and Chicken

It was nearly four years ago when an unlikely friendship developed here on our farm, between our dog Lilly, a Magpie and a Chicken.

One day my husband was out in the paddock when he found a
young Magpie that had fallen from its nest.  With no parents in sight and crows hanging around he decided it best to bring the Magpie home for me to look after.  The little fella was still young, he had some of his adult flight feathers but still couldn’t fly properly.  We decided to keep him in a box and feed him until Monday when I could get the vet to give him a check up.  After a vet check up established he just needed a little time to grow his feathers we continued feeding him and looking after him.  He lived in the house and on our deck in a cage most of the time unless we took him out with us for a walk around the stables.  Our dog Lilly became very fond of Buckley, as we affectionately named him.  They would spend a lot of time sitting together and he would chirp and sing to her while she looked at him rather intrigued as to what he was doing.

After having Buckley for about a month we ended up with a couple of week old chickens.  One of the chickens died so we were left with only one and the adult chickens wouldn’t accept it into their pen.  We decided to set up a stable for the baby chicken to live and we introduced her to Buckley.  Well it was a match made in heaven. Buckley took Chicken (yes that was her name, ever so original) under his wing, literally.  They instantly bonded and she would sleep underneath him until she became bigger than him.

As time went on they became a part of our family.  In the mornings we would start work at the stables with a ritual morning conversation and scratch with Buckley and Chicken.  Then Buckley would fly up to mums house and sit on the verandah and screech until she came out to feed him his meat.  Even stranger, Chicken would jump up the 16 steps to the front door and and tap on the glass until mum came to the door. Anyone that visited our property couldn’t help but laugh at our Buckley and Chicken.  Wherever we were Buckley and Chicken were sure to be close behind.  If we were out working in the paddocks or feeding up Buckley would fly around following us and sitting on the fence watching and Chicken would run as fast as she could to keep up.  If we were doing vet work or scanning mares Buckley was there at our feet chirping or picking up bugs.  I remember having a few barbeques and all of a sudden Buckley would turn up at our house and stay until we were finished, then we would have to carry him back to his stable because he wouldn’t fly in the dark.  Lilly, Buckley and Chicken were all friends and Buckley would still come and have a sleep next to Lilly or sit right in her face and talk to her.

After a couple of years of Buckley always being around he started going missing for a day or two at a time.  The first few times we would walk around calling out for him as we were so worried that he was injured.  But after a few days he would turn up, sitting with Chicken at the top of a stable box.  He would stay for a while, slotting straight back into his old routine and then disappear again.  One time he was gone for about a week and then came back for a few days and left again.  Then his visits to see us became less frequent and then after a few months they stopped.  We like to think that he just found himself a girlfriend and has a little family of his own.   Chicken stayed with us and became friendly with the other chickens until a few months ago when she unfortunately passed away.

Everytime we see a Magpie it brings a smile to my face thinking about our dear Buckley.  It really was an unusual friendship between Buckley and Lilly and more so between our odd couple Buckley and Chicken.

I would love to hear about any other unlikely animal friendships out there so please let me know and even send in a photo.

Until next time,

Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. Bec is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and also has a Bachelor in Applied Science Animal Studies with special interest in Wildlife and Recreational Animals. Her studies have been put to good use working in various animal industries including small and large animal veterinary clinics, horse studs and the family cattle property. Horses have played an important part in her life, living on a horse stud and caring for horses throughout breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, a cheeky cockatiel, chickens and many horses including a naughty little pony.

3 Replies to “Unlikely Animal Friendships; Lilly, Buckley and Chicken

  1. It was a beautiful story and reminded of an unusual friendship I had with two of my own animals. I had a horse who loved his fluffy cat. Every morning the cat sat on the horse paddock fence for his horse massage, thats what I believe because as soon as krakers my persian choc point very fluffy cat sat on the fence the horse JD would come trotting or even canter up to see him. Then for an hour he put his nose up and down the cats back blowing and fluffing the cats hair all over the place. I coud not help but laugh it was mostly a morning ritual but if he got on the fence up came the horse. Once JD had had enough fluffing he would shove the cat off the fence. Krakers would then head up to the verandah quite well regally for his morning wash then sleep it all off. this went on for a few years until I moved and had to give the cat away. JD never again played with a cat, he actually would not go near if any cats came in the paddock. I believe he missed his friend so much that he did not want any thing to do with others cats ever again.

  2. What a lovely story. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it Bec. 🙂 Our only “unusual”animal friendship we have experienced was between a poddy calf and our two dogs (for a while it was very much like we had 3 dogs!). However unfortunately “Sid” became too big for our house yard and had to make the transition to being a real steer, but he still used to come and say hello to the dogs if they went for a romp in his paddock.

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