Hitch-hiking hen on the loose

Melanie Brookes with some of her other hens. Melanie is hoping to track down her hitch-hiking hen, Agatha.
Melanie Brookes with some of her other hens. Melanie is hoping to track down her hitch-hiking hen, Agatha.

A hitch-hiking hen is on the run after travelling 40 miles from home in the back of a delivery van.

The feisty fowl, named Agatha, made the cross-county journey from her home in Morley to Hathersage, in a bid for freedom that could have been straight from the film, Chicken Run.

Owner, Melanie Brookes, 49, said her plucky pet has always had an adventurous personality, making her a favourite out of 22 others in her brood.

She said: “Agatha is a warren chicken, which are a typically friendly and inquisitive breed.

“She is always around my feet when I go to unlock the car, and once I even found she had jumped inside.”

She added: “If you could have favourites, Agatha would be it. People say they are only chickens, but to me it is no different to losing a cat or a dog.”

Mrs Brookes, who runs a construction company in Derby, is now desperate to be reunited with her beloved bird, who was last seen by a driver from Sheffield-based Tuffnells Parcel Express near Hog Hall Farm, Hathersage.

Phil Carford, operations manager at the firm, said: “My driver arrived and when he opened the door he saw a chicken sat there.

“It just hopped out and went on its merry way.”