Meet Wendy The Travelling Chook

Lauren’s chicken is an adventurer
  • When Lauren Williams, 43, learned about the awful living conditions of battery hens, she was desperate to help.
  • Meeting a special 18 month old ex battery hen named Wendy, Lauren took her into her loving home.
  • Taking Wendy everywhere she went, the rescue chook has become a local celebrity!

Here Lauren tells her story in her own words.

Sitting on the front verandah with my hubby Matthew, then 41, we were watching our rescue chooks scratch in the yard when my phone rang.

It was Ashley who runs Battery Angels Chicken Rescue in Perth, a group dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of chickens who’ve lived their life in a factory farming environment.

‘Do you have space for two special hens?’ she asked, sounding hopeful.

‘You know I have a soft spot for the special ones!’ I replied.

It was January 2022 and since rescuing my first lot of ex-battery hens in May 2020, I was enamoured with my feathered friends.

Sadly, battery hens live squished in cages like sardines – they barely have room to flap their wings.

Claudia, Wendy and Omlette (Credit: Supplied)

And after just 18 months of laying eggs, they’re sent to the slaughterhouse.

At Ashley’s home, I was introduced to two special 18-month-old chooks who had been next in line to be slaughtered.

One hen hopped around on one leg, and the other girl was blind in one eye.

‘I’m going to name you Wendy and Beatrix,’ I smiled.

At the vet later that week, both girls were found to be happy and healthy.

‘Wendy was born without a tailbone,’ the vet said. It meant she didn’t have tail feathers, explaining her adorable round shape.

She looks like a cute little football, I thought.

Wendy with her suitcase ready for holidays (Credit: Supplied)

An X-ray confirmed her sore leg must’ve broken when she was cramped in a cage alongside other chickens.

And Beatrix had suffered trauma to her eye.

Without proper care, the injuries had never healed – and now never would.

‘You’re safe with me,’ I told them, heartbroken.

At home, we introduced the girls to our other rescues, Omelette, Belinda, Charlotte, Nicole, Lavender, Chippy, Claudia and Audrey.

By day the chooks had free range in our yard. At night they slept in our spacious coop.

‘You’re safe with me.’

Wendy at our local cafe (Credit: Supplied)

Settling in quickly on our 735 square metre farm in suburbia, Wendy and Beatrix stuck close together, thick as thieves.

Sadly, a year later we lost Beatrix to egg peritonitis, a condition related to egg production that can be fatal to hens.

Lost without her disabled buddy, Wendy drew away from the rest of the group and developed a cough shortly after.

‘No house chickens!’ Matthew had said when I first starting rescuing chooks.

But with Wendy unwell, he lost that battle.

Bringing Wendy inside to recover, she soon became a house hen.

Wendy loves the wildflowers (Credit: Supplied)

She loved watching telly with me and Matt, sitting on our laps until she nodded off to sleep.

Following me around the house like a little duckling, she’d come hobbling over for a treat of blueberries and grapes when I opened the fridge.

I even started taking Wendy on small trips around town, carrying her in a cute purple baby sling on my front.

Wendy became a regular at our local cafe, and loved going for swims at the beach.

We’d had Wendy nearly two years when, in August 2023, we planned a road trip to see the wildflowers in Cue, WA.

It will be difficult to find someone willing to look after our girl the way I do, I thought.

‘Why don’t we take Wendy?’ I said to Matt.

We love a trip to the beach (Credit: Supplied)

‘I don’t see why not,’ he agreed.

We’d be camping, and Wendy would need to sleep in the tent with us.

So I bought her a special pair of chook undies so she wouldn’t make a mess!

Piling into the car last August, we started our seven-hour drive north to Cue.

We’d be making the trip over a couple days, stopping to check out the sights along the way.

Wendy quickly fell asleep in the cat crate we’d strapped to the back seat with a seatbelt.

She was a great travel companion.

On a road trip (Credit: Supplied)

But she’d let out a big squawk to let Matt know if he was driving too roughly.

Everywhere we stopped, Wendy got a lot of attention.

‘Why would you travel with a chicken?’ a stunned older lady asked.

‘Better question is, why wouldn’t you?’ Matt shrugged.

But most people fell in love with Wendy instantly – even a pair of tough-as-nails tradies who gave us directions were smitten.

Visiting Walga Rock, a granite monolith with beautiful Aboriginal paintings, we trudged up to the top with Wendy nestled in her sling.

‘Why would you travel with a chicken?’

First trip to Bunnings (Credit: Supplied)

We also explored nearby caves and stayed on a beautiful farm.

One night, I even had to smuggle Wendy into a motel under my jacket.

We put down a nice absorbent sheet for her on the floor so she wouldn’t make a mess though.

When we finally arrived in Cue, the wildflowers were very pretty.

And Wendy loved scratching around!

She’s going to be so bored when we get back, I thought, as Wendy fell asleep against my chest.

Wendy isn’t your typical farm animal (Credit: Supplied)

Now we’re back home, we take our girl on all sorts of egg-cellent adventures.

She just loves going on bushwalks in the national park with me and Matt.

‘Well this is a first!’ a ranger said when he saw Wendy.

‘Pets aren’t allowed here, but Wendy is a non-predatory animal so I’ll allow it!’ he added, patting her.

Best not to mention how much she loves worms and crickets, I thought.

Recently I took Wendy on a trip to Bunnings.

As I pushed her around in a mini trolley, she was a hit!

The woman in the nursery even gave my girl some silverbeet and lettuce leaves to munch.

Our travelling chook makes friends and spreads the word on ex battery hens everywhere she goes!

Me, Matt and Wendy (Credit: Supplied)

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