A pair of chickens have become local celebrities after they were spotted roaming their neighbourhood – in hi-vis jackets.
The birds, known as Davina and Deidre, refuse to stay in their coop in the garden of their owner’s home and instead roam a five mile radius a day.
The tame hens head out around 7am each morning with one wearing a fluorescent pink jacket and the other wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket.
They have been spotted touring the streets of Galley Hill and Stony Stratford, in Milton Keynes, Beds., before returning to their home in the evening for their dinner.
One resident said: “I love it when they come in my garden and eat the snails that eat away at my plants.
“They’re doing me a good turn. They’re part of the community now and they brighten our days.”
Another resident said: “Everybody knows them and we all love them. It really brightens up your day when they come to see you.”
But owner of the chickens, David Williams, of Galley Hill, says despite him trying to keep them restricted to his garden they “had other ideas”.
He said: “I started off trying to keep them in. But right from the start they had other ideas – they wanted to be free to go where they wanted.”
So David decided to buy his chickens two hi-vis jackets to make sure they were easily spotted in the dark.
He added: “They started their wandering in the summer, when the evenings were still light.
“But as the nights got darker we were worried that people wouldn’t spot them if they were near a road of on a driveway.”
Louise Reidy took to Facebook to express her love for the chickens, she wrote: “I thought these jackets were photoshopped (sic) for a joke Until I saw one today. So funny.”
Sylvia Airs added: “I think its wonderful to see them roaming freely.
“Children generally don’t get to see chickens alive let alone roaming freely it’s no surprise that they are attracted to them.
“Hopefully in time the novelty will wear off and they will become protective of them”.
David said the chickens, who were bought as a birthday present for his eight-year son, also called David, in August always make sure they both leave an egg every morning before their travels.
Dave said ever since the chickens have been allowed on their daily outings, the quality and quantity of their eggs has improved.
He added: “We still feed them proper food and people give them all kinds of titbits. But they enjoy finding food for themselves too.
“It must be doing them good because their eggs are amazing.”
Chickens are natural foragers and if they are allowed to free range they will find plenty of insects and greenery.
Their diet will include meaty insect such as worms, slugs and snails – and for this reason chickens are welcome visitors at many gardens on the estate.
David bought the hi-vis jackets from a specialist Banbury company called Omlet.