Watch out - here come Hennis, Feathah and Hendleton!

Watch out - here come Hennis, Feathah and Hendleton!

1 of X pages

laying hens Olympic podium

If chickens could ‘henter’ the Olympics, they would ‘eggcel’ at running and hurdling according to RSPCA Assured farmers from West Sussex.

A husband and wife farming duo - Susie and Danny Mac from Ditchling - have named three of their fittest hens Jessica Hennis, Mo Feathah and Victoria Hendleton after some of sport's top athletes.

Susie said: “All our hens love running around but three of our girls are top of the pecking order when it comes to being the first to scramble out of their house in the morning

“It may surprise people to know that hens are intelligent and naturally curious birds.
"This is why we ask RSPCA Assured farmers to give their birds interesting things to keep them busy as well as fit and healthy.
“I’ve yet to see a hen riding a bike but hens enjoy running, jumping and pecking anything that’s colourful,  shiny and, most importantly, destructible.
If there was an animal Olympics I’m sure they’d do pretty well.”

Mia Fernyhough, RSPCA farm animal scientist

three laying hens Olympic podium

and race across the range."

Chickens can sprint

Susie added: “Despite having wings, chickens aren’t actually that great at flying.

"But when it comes to sprinting they can reach speeds of 9mph which is faster than most people can run.

“As RSPCA Assured farmers we have to give our birds things to peck at and play with to keep them active and happy.  

"We’re yet to put their cycling skills to the test, but the three of them certainly love nothing more than hurdling the hay bales and looking for new things to do.”

Care about farm animals?

Find out more about the welfare of farm animals and where to buy RSPCA Assured eggs.

Sporty chickens factfile:

    • Swimming - chickens can’t swim.  Their feathers tend to soak up water rather than let it run off like it does from a duck’s back
    • Running - chickens can run up to 9mph for short bursts but their real advantage is their agility.  They can turn on a six-pence. Their speed and agility helps keep them safe from predators
  • Jumping - chickens can fly but not for long. The longest recorded distance flown is about 300 feet.
number one bottoms laying hens Olympic

Date: 13 Aug 2016