Woman’s Day (Australia)
Chicken fancier Elaine is making waves online after giving her chooks a new lease of life
No, you’re not seeing things. That is a surfing chicken. The old adage, “Why did the chicken cross the road... or surf?” quickly comes to mind, but for mother hen Elaine Janes, there’s a simple explanation to the surprising sight.
“From the look on her face, she loves it,” says Elaine, 77.
“You can’t make a chook like the water, particularly the ocean, but this one has a passion.”
Elaine’s been taking Mrs Chook, her Plymouth Rock chicken, to surf at the local beach in Ocean Grove, Victoria, since December 2021.
What was once a COVID hobby has turned into a local attraction, with many beachgoers flocking to see the water-loving bird catch a break. “She fears nothing because I think she knows she’s safe. If you put her there, that’s what she’ll do,” says Elaine. “She loves the power and unpredictability of the water.
“She gets to stretch her wings and loves getting her toes wet. She would do it all day if she could.”
According to Elaine, the bodysurfing chicken catches up to five waves a day and loves relaxing in the water. They’ve now formed a muchloved morning routine – a surf and chat with locals, a blowdry to ensure there are no ruffled feathers and then a babycino at a cafe to stay warm.
“When I get her out of the water, I wrap her in a towel, like a baby, and she sits beside me while I put my socks and shoes on,” says Elaine.
The former motor trade saleswoman is no stranger to making waves with her feathered family, having previously taken her chooks skateboarding, canoeing and riding on Geelong’s Giant Sky Wheel. Her rooster named Squiggles has become famous in his own right online for his skateboarding feats, amassing thousands of views on her Tiktok page.
For anyone inspired to get their chooks in the water, Elaine says to start slow.
“Don’t pick them up and throw them in,” she tells. “Do a little introduction on the edge and see how they handle it.”
You can check out Elaine’s wonderful chooks on her Tiktok, @chookwhisperer.