A WIGAN pet sanctuary is rehoming hundreds of chickens that ran amok after a motorway crash.
About 1,500 hens were killed in an early hours lorry crash on the M62 almost two weeks ago.
But some of the birds escaped and volunteers from Ince-based community interest company Lucky Hens took the surviving hordes under their wing and made it their mission to provide them with a good home.
In the last four years, Alison Thorpe has saved the lives of more than 12,520 chickens which were otherwise heading for the abattoir after their usefulness on battery farms reached an end.
Local folk have been adopting the foul ever since, many having them pecking around in their back gardens and proving a handy source of free eggs.
But this particular rescue mission has given Alison special satisfaction.
The award-winning farmer said: “All of the chickens from the crash have now been spoken for.
“I just think it’s fantastic that we could help to re-home so many, especially seeing as we’re just a one-man band based here in Wigan.
“We were the only one out of the main rescue teams in the whole country who turned out to assist that morning.
“I think that is just disgusting and I am shocked that no other big welfare teams turned up seeing as this is one of the biggest chicken transportation crashes in history.”
Volunteers from the sanctuary arrived just after 4am to help assist with the rescue.
And Alison, from Amberswood Farm, along with a team, nurtured those that were injured back to health.
Bryn and Golborne Veterinary Centre also helped to treat the birds.
Alison said: “Everybody assisting with the rescue were brilliant, even people who had never handled hens before in their life turned up.
“It was such a hectic day, our lounge was full of the injured chickens and some others were housed in the shed so that they could recuperate from the shock of the incident.
“We also treated a lot of them on-site with honey water.
“Many suffered from broken bones. A lot of friends and workers from Paws N Claws in Ashton helped with the rescue and drove some survivors to sanctuaries in Nottingham and Cambridgeshire.
“We’re all just animal mad and we would do anything for them. We’re always looking to re-home hens.
“People don’t realise that all chickens, whether free-range, organic, barned or caged, are transported and slaughtered after 18 months.
“The only way to save them is to re-home them in your back garden.”
Some of the chickens from the crash have now been sent to local schools who aim to nurture them for many years to come.
For more information on Lucky Hens e mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit luckyhensrescuewigan.weebly.com or telephone 01942 233375.