Hitch-hike hen travels over 100 miles on back of a lorry

Farmer Chris Bates' ornamental chicken
Image caption The hen travelled through Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk on the back of a farm truck

A hitch-hiking hen has been returned to its Cambridgeshire owner after taking a round trip of more than 100 miles (160 km) on the outside of a farm truck.

The chicken stowed away on a lorry collecting beans from Chris Bates' farm at Little Chishill, on the Cambridgeshire/Essex border.

The driver travelled to Norfolk, then returned to Cambridge where the chicken was spotted on the truck battery box.

Mr Bates said: "It's amazing. Perhaps she thinks she's a battery hen."

The farmer estimated the bird had travelled about 130 miles (210 km) on the truck.

"The delivery driver took my beans to Whittlesford, then parked the vehicle in a lay-by in Hauxton for the night," Mr Bates said.

"His next stop was Littlebury in Essex, where he collected a load of wheat and took that to King's Lynn."

Returning to a farm in Cambridge to collect his next load, the driver was asked if he usually carried his pet chicken around with him.

The ornamental hen was returned safely to Mr Bates' farm garden.

"I couldn't believe where it had been when I heard about it," he said.

"It sat on the battery box on the tractor unit of the lorry.

"Why it didn't jump off or get blown off, I have no idea."

Mr Bates said the hen was now happily roaming around the garden and was none the worse for its trip.

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