If you have ever known chickens, you are aware that they are non-judgmental. They are happy to see you, always, even if you don’t bring treats. Dobby never brought his hens treats, and they loved him anyway. And he loved them.
Dobby was not alone: JoeJoe also loved his chickens, even when they were puny and useless. He liked to let them walk all over him, which made him pouffy.
In the wild, capybaras let birds walk all over them to pick off the bugs and ticks. I watched this game in Panama and was amazed at how the wild capybaras pouffed up! When their fur sticks out, it’s called piloerection. That lets the bird beaks get way in there to pick out the bugs.
Dobby liked to share his corn with the hens, even as he was suspicious of Wiley the rabbit.
He had a funny little conversation with them as they ate together. This is one of many vocalizations capybaras are capable of.
JoeJoe must have had a more mellow disposition than Prince Dobalob. I never had this many chicks, but Dobby was clumsy and a bit too playful to be trusted with little tykes.
Dobby was great with grown hens, though. He’s a bit pouffy in this photo.
There internet is full of memes showing how calm and gentle capybaras can be, and JoeJoe certainly was that kind of guy.
Here’s Dobby, again, all pouffed up. The hens are just hanging around, but always a bit wary. He could suddenly decided to doofus dance, so they were constantly reassessing his moods.
And yet, he trusted them completely. In this video he had a bit of white goop in his eye, a springtime occurrence, probably an allergy. A hen named Madonna makes a surgical strike, deftly removes the crud from his eye, and Dobby acts like it was the most normal medical procedure in the world.
I wasn’t there, but it doesn’t look like JoeJoe was sharing his food in the next video. Dobby would have stood up, scattering the chicks, but he would have shared that lettuce!
Look how gentle JoeJoe is with these tiny guys!
Garden Party was Dobby’s favorite time of day. The hens rushed for the treats when I opened the gate, even knowing they had to compete with the big doofus.
In case you aren’t convinced that JoeJoe loved his hens, here’s another video.
I will leave you with this one, as a reminder to never to turn your back on a capybara. They aren’t chill all the time. Like any tame wild animal, their “fight or flight” response is unimpaired by any human tinkering that domestic animals were subject to.
Special thanks to Cody Kennedy for the use of his photos and videos. He’s got capybara and chicken t-shirts available here.