Hen evades rescue attempts but appears content in adopted A39 lay-by home

Have you heard the one about the chicken that refused to cross the North Devon Link Road – or even leave a lay-by for that matter?

Many A39 users have reported seeing a chicken that appears to have set up coup in one of the lay-bys near Barnstaple in recent weeks.

The hen has evaded numerous rescue attempts by North Devon Animal Ambulance and the charity’s founder Diana Lewis said the bird appeared to be enjoying its free range lifestyle.

“The chicken is very fit and well and is able to fly very well over the bank into the field,” she said.

“It can run very fast - far quicker than me or my colleagues – and is determined not to be caught.”

While the chicken appears to be putting itself at risk, Diana said rescuers had to consider the safety of link road drivers.

“The lay-by is adjacent to a very fast moving stretch of road and if the bird is frightened into the path of oncoming traffic, causing a vehicle to instinctively swerve, there is high likelihood of a dreadful accident.”

“Should the chicken put itself into a position where it was safe to rescue, we would be happy to do so.”