An ex-racing horse and a chicken have struck up a stable friendship and now do everything together – from riding to sleeping.
Phez the chicken first arrived at Homefield Racing Stables about a year after she wandered down the driveway looking a little disheveled.
Owner of the stables, Lynn Winks, said they couldn’t tell if she was a chicken or a peasant and as such earned the name Phez.
They put her in the stable in Barnsley, South Yorks., with one of most placid horses George- and since then she hasn’t left his side.
The pair spend everything night together with Phez not only sleeping in the same stable but actually on George’s back.
Lynn said: “Phez actually roosts on George’s back and sleeps on him. She doesn’t like to sleep on the floor or anywhere else in the stable.
“She always goes into George’s stable. All the stables look alike but without fail she always flies through George’s door at night. She knows where her home is.”
Lynn added: “Phez will only lay eggs in George’s stable as well. She’s never laid an egg for me anywhere else.”
During the morning feed, George often has to be quick if he wants to get a look in on his food.
Lynn said: “I feed the two of them together and Phez has been known to pinch George’s food. If he sees George in the stable eating, he’ll share his food.”
Often George – an ex-racing horse – is out riding during the day but if he’s in a paddock Phez will find him.
Lynn said: “Phez goes wherever she wants during the day and sometimes she’ll go to the field where George is.
“She definitely favours George. Her place is with him.”
Mrs Winks currently looks after Phez, George and her six racing horses at the stables and believes the friendship has brought joy to the farm.
She said: “I think it’s quite sweet really.
“It was just a bit of a novelty to be honest when this chicken came wondering up the path and then took to George’s stable.”
Lynn is also the mother to amateur jockey, Ryan Winks, 35, who won the Scottish Champion Chase at Mussleburgh last weekend.
Westley Pearson, Director of Claims at Animal Friends Pet Insurance – www.animalfriends.co.uk – said: “The animal world is full of wonderful unlikely friendships, and this one is no exception.
“Most animals crave company, and while many will prefer companions of their own species there are plenty who find friends in unlikely animals.”