Around 7,000 chickens found their own free range after the truck transporting them crashed and they broke out onto a major road in Austria.

"Boxes containing dead and injured animals were strewn over a 160-metre stretch while thousands of chickens ran onto the motorway on both sides," police said.

It is reported the driver admitted having a "second-long sleep", causing him to veer right and hit a bridge pillar on the Vienna-bound side of the A1 autobahn near Linz in the north of the country.

The carriageway was closed during the morning rush hour, leading to long traffic jams in both directions as drivers on the other side slowed down to look at the chaos.

It took more than 100 emergency workers, including firefighters, to crack the problem and return the surviving birds to their cages.

Those chickens that managed to make a run for it have enjoyed a double helping of luck, as the next stop for the poultry was the slaughter house.

(c) Sky News 2017: Chickens run for it: Thousands of birds escape in Austrian truck crash