TWO pals have proved they are no chickens after taking to the skies in a bid to raise awareness for their feathered friends.

Amy Hamilton 35, and Rhona Gilder, 52, conquered their fears - and the skies - to take part in a wing walk and raise funds for a hen welfare charity.

Between them they raised more than £2,200 for the British Hen Welfare Trust.

Despite admitting to not being daredevils, the pair, who are former colleagues, decided to do the wing walk after flirting with the idea during a British Hen Welfare Trust rehoming day.

Gazette: We’re flying - Rhona Gilder, 52, glides through the sky to raise awareness for her beloved chickensWe’re flying - Rhona Gilder, 52, glides through the sky to raise awareness for her beloved chickens

“I was absolutely terrified even thinking about it,” said Rhona, who lives in Colchester.

“I felt physically sick, but I was always determined to do it.

“If you’re not scared of doing a challenge, then there’s no point in doing it.

“When I was in the air, it was amazing. I had to pinch myself that I was actually doing it and enjoying it.”

For Amy, who lives in Chelmsford, it was a spontaneous act completely out of character, but she braved it for her love of chickens.

She explained: “I’m not the kind of person who does bungee jumps or anything like that, and I think that’s why people sponsored me – because they know it’s not something I’d actually want to do.

“Having your feet strapped to the plane helped because it made you feel like you were on solid ground, even if you weren’t.

“When we were taxiing to take off, I just blocked it out and focused on how much I wanted everyone to know that these hens deserve a life.”


As part of its vital work, the trust saves 60,000 hens from slaughter every year and rehomes them as pets at regular adoption events across the country, including in Essex.

As well as raising funds for the charity, both Amy and Rhona also have adopted some of its hens and described how they make lovely pets, just like cats and dogs.

Amy, who has five hens and is also a rehoming volunteer, said: “It doesn’t matter what the animal is, it’s about having a companion.

“Seeing your rehomed hens go from not knowing anything and looking a bit scrawny to full recovery is a really valuable thing to do.”

Rhona, who has ten hens, added: “I just love their little characters.

“They each have their own little ways and I can just sit and chat to them.

“When you first get them, they can look a little worse for wear, but they soon grow their feathers back.

“After a few weeks you wouldn’t know they were the same chicken, and that’s just a joy to see.”

BHWT is holding a rehoming day in Essex on November 13. Contact for more detail