Modern Farmer’s Best of 2016: Weird Animal Stories

Courtesy Lainey Morse

All week, we'll be posting round-ups of some of our favorite stories from 2016. Check back daily for a new collection.

We never cease to be amazed by the bizarre, adorable, fascinating lives of animals—even those we thought we knew, like the cow, chicken, and goat.

This year’s weirdest animal stories span the entire world: from yoga goats in Oregon to bees kept by famous bassists to drunk British ponies, here are the strangest animal stories that entertained us in 2016.

Shetland Pony Breaks Into English Bar, Allegedly Gets Drunk: We investigate the claims of a British tabloid who may have unfairly slandered a tiny pony’s reputation.

Meet Pismo and Goatee, the World’s Greatest Surfing Goats: An in-depth profile of goats who surf.

From our partners at

Goat Yoga: It’s Yoga…With Goats!: A blend of animal therapy and innovative yoga that could only happen in the great state of Oregon.

We Knew It: Goats are Just as Clever and Cute as Dogs: Okay, the study doesn’t actually examine the cuteness of goats. But it seems like a reasonable conclusion to draw.

A French Sailor. A Spanish Hen. A Global Adventure.: The amazing story of Monique the Hen, a sailor’s first mate and perhaps the best-traveled chicken on the planet.

This Season’s Hottest Fiber: Qiviut, the Undercoat of Musk Oxen: A group of Alaskan farmers are doing their best to make qiviut a centerpiece for nascent Alaskan agriculture.

Staten Island’s Flock of Feral Turkeys Retire Upstate: Nobody quite knows how Staten Island’s flock of urban turkeys came to settle there, but amid controversy, their story has taken a bucolic turn.

Everything You Want To Know About Turkey Sex: It’s pretty weird.

Australian Farmer Crafts Masterful Wiener Out Of Sheep: Sheep farmers will sometimes arrange feed so that their sheep gather in such a way as to form a sort of protest sign. This guy is not doing that. He just thought it was funny.

Across the Pond, Crooks are Stealing Rare Chicken Breeds: Rare chickens can fetch thousands of dollars on the open market. It was only a matter of time before thieves noticed.

Welcome to the Wacky, Sometimes Wild, but Always Fascinating World of “Chicken People”: An interview with the director of a movie about show chickens. Chicken people are fun.

Flea Loves Bees: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Bassist is an Avid Apiarist: A hearty recommend for bee-enthusiast Flea’s Instagram page.

The Cornish Game Hen Is a Tiny Liar: A luxury bird from decades past is not what it seems.

Meet the Beltex, an Eternally Grumpy-Looking Sheep: Think all sheep are fluffy and cute? This mean breed would like a word.

Denver Broncos’ Von Miller Dreams of Being a Chicken Farmer: The star of last year’s Super Bowl has, amazingly, a degree in poultry science.

Oh, Give Me a Home, Where the Sheep and the Penguins Roam: Only on the Falklands do penguins shove aside sheep for breeding space.

Baby Bison are Extremely Cute. Just Look at Their Furry Faces!: Haha look at these lil’ guys.

Modern Farmer’s Best of 2016: Weird Animal Stories