Yorkshire Dales farmer's rescue hens used for All Creatures Great and Small filming after she answers emergency SOS when crew's hired chickens failed to turn up

A Yorkshire Dales farmer saved the day when a consignment of chickens that were due to appear in an All Creatures Great and Small scene failed to be delivered to the set on time.

Rebecca Ward-Dooley supplied four of her rescue hens at the last minute
Rebecca Ward-Dooley supplied four of her rescue hens at the last minute

Crew members were forced to knock on doors in the village of Arncliffe on Saturday morning in a desperate attempt to find a local poultry keeper who would let them use their hens as extras.

Rebecca Ward-Dooley answered their call and her rescue hens Bonnie, Hermione, Mirabel and Susan took part in the shoot alongside actor Samuel West, who plays vet Siegfried Farnon in the Channel Five production.

The foursome were all given a second chance by Rebecca when she adopted them from the Fresh Start for Hens charity after their commercial laying days were over - and were apparently well-behaved during the scene, which required them to sit in nesting boxes.

The main All Creatures set in Grassington is currently being prepared for filming

Filming for the second series of All Creatures Great and Small is currently taking places at various locations in the Dales, including Grassington, Kettlewell and Scar House Reservoir.

"They’re currently using a farm in the village as part of the surgery set. I had a knock at 8am with a film crew member saying the hens they were due to use for a scene hadn’t arrived and could they borrow some of ours - I think they’d been desperately knocking on doors trying to find a hen keeper," said Rebecca.

"They came to the right place! Me and my husband stuffed some ladies under our arms and walked over. It was a kind of 'they need them now' situation! They shot the scene with Sam West and that was that. He was extremely polite and friendly - and handsome. They wanted the hens in nest boxes which they set up all ready and the girls were very well-behaved and stayed put."