Is described as those whom one is friendly with despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry. Sometimes in life we all must associate with others we normally wouldn’t choose to. Whether simply being in the same space at the same time, or you require something from one another. We all learn to deal with others we would prefer not to. Our Chickens, interact with what I’m pretty sure they would classify as frenemies on a rather normal basis. They to have adapted to dealing with their barnyard frenemies
Our trio of kitties Mo, Ollie, and Baby Kitty are found roaming the property, barns, and garages at all times. They protect the chickens from critters of all types. I’ve seen the cats protect chickens from snakes, squirrels, predator birds, and stray cats amongst other species. So, when Baby Kitty was spotted running across the yard with a Silky peep in his mouth, we were shocked. Yes, I know cats eat birds so why shocked? Our other cats had never gone after our chicks. Now banned from the brooder area, Baby Kitty has a lot of trust to build. As he gets older and used to the farm, I believe he will outgrow his chick obsession.
I have two bulldogs who like to protect the chickens in the summer and hang out with them in the barn in the winter, or at least say “hi”. The dogs also love to glare out the window watching “Peep TV”. Our male dog (Tank) likes to chase and play with them a bit, but only till he scares the poop out of them. Then he has acquired his favorite snack “YUCK!” He loves chicken poop. Lou Bug our female, likes to lay and watch the chickens as they free-range around the property. Unless it’s a Silky, then it will be held down and licked till it’s soaking and wet. What is it about Silkies? On a positive note though the dogs have chased off hawks, falcons, coons, and even a opossum to protect the chickens.
The cows provide extra food and warmth in the winter. In the summer they tend to keep critters out of the pasture, that may otherwise harm the chickens. Now cows are not majestic animals, they are big clumsy goofballs. Which, tends to lead to chickens getting under hoof. One broken chicken leg and a few minor injuries have occurred. Other than the cows accidentally, ours would never hurt them on purpose. They are simply big oversized babies who love to snuggle.
Goats seem to be more entertainment for the chickens than anything. They do help keep away the coons, skunks, and opossums from the chickens. They also enjoy chasing the chickens, so not really sure what the chickens think of them. Friend or Foe? Maybe a little of both making them a perfect example of a Frenemy. On a bitterly cold day, you will find a few chickens snuggled right up with the goats. You will find others cleaning any leftover grain from the goat feeders.
So, when it comes to frenemies, I suppose chickens have many. I believe if you stick any two species together the outcome can go either way. Let’s be honest, even with the same species bad things can happen. If the animals grow up together, the possibility of pure aggression is much less. My animals are pretty good to each other, that does not take away the fact a strange dog could run onto the property and devastate our flock. Or a stray cat could get in the brooder and take out the spring chicks. Like us, each animal has its own personality. Watch each new addition till they have proven with confidence no ill-intent.