- “I've met some hard-boiled eggs in my day, but I'd say you're about 20 minutes”
- ―Rocky Rhodes[src]
Ginger is the main protagonist of Chicken Run. She is an intelligent, Rhode Island Red hen who is effectively the chicken's leader and boss.
Ginger has many plans for how to get past the fence and escape the chicken coop. Most of Ginger's attempts are ruined when trying to escape with her friends. Ginger longs to be successful at escaping from Tweedy's Farm and sometimes gets into trouble when she does so. She is a big dreamer, an idealist, and an opptermist, and life on the farm hadn't crushed her spirit. She is assertive, helps the other hens as well as she can, and is totally selfless, as she could have escaped the farm on her own, yet sticks around to liberate the entire flock. She DESPISES tratiery, and lying. And values honesty. She has a no-nonsense outlook on life, and an irrepressible desire to survive. A life of boredom and gloom is what drives her to explore the outside world, to experience grass, a varied diet that isn't boring chicken feed, and to sleep in a more comfortable bed. Despite what life throws at her, she bounces back, and never caves in.
Ginger is first seen attempting to sneak out under the fence while avoiding Mr. Tweedy and his dogs, who are patrolling the chicken coup. Unfortunately, as Babs, Bunty, and the other chickens attempt to go under the wire, Bunty gets stuck, and their attempt to push her out gets Mr. Tweedy's attention. Ginger is chased onto the Tweedy's porch by the dogs, whom she tries to fend off using a gnome statue, to no avail, before coming face-to-face with Mrs. Tweedy, who suddenly opens the door, asking Mr. Tweedy why Ginger is standing on their porch, and hotly ordering him to take care of her. Mr. Tweedy, furious with Ginger for making him look like a fool, throws her into the coal bin for the night.
The next morning, after Ginger is let back into the coop by Mr. Tweedy, she immediately concocts a new plan: she will hide under a chimney smokestack from one of the huts while the other chickens hide in an overturned food bin as Mr. Tweedy collects their eggs. The chickens hiding under the food bin bump into the gate twice and get turned upside-down; Ginger attempts to sneak out once more, but is thwarted by Mr. Tweedy, who puts her in the coal bin again. Ginger comes up with another plan, which involves tunneling under the fence, and sneaking off while the dogs are asleep. However, Ginger is busted again after coming face-to-face with one of the dogs. Ginger's next plan involves disguising herself and a few other chickens as Mrs. Tweedy: the dogs are fooled by the costume, until the "dress" gets caught on a wheelbarrow, revealing Ginger and the other chickens underneath; the dogs promptly attack them, chasing them back into the coop, and they close the gate before Ginger can get back inside, and she ends up in the coal bin yet again.
During their weekly roll-call, Ginger comes up with a new plan: going over the fence. While the other chickens have laid plenty of eggs throughout the week, one hen, Edwina, hadn't made any progress all week, thus, Mrs. Tweedy takes her into the barn and beheads her with an axe as a horrified Ginger watches from a rooftop. Edwina's death makes Ginger increasingly desperate to escape from the farm along with all the other chickens, and she plans a meeting in Hut 17 that evening. Nick and Fetcher, a pair of rats who smuggle things from the Tweedy's house for the chickens, are growing tired of being given chicken feed as payment, and want eggs instead, much to Ginger's dismay. At the meeting, Ginger and her assistant, Mac, outline their plan to go over the fence using a catapault. After Mr. Tweedy comes in to check on the chickens, Bunty suggests giving the escape attempts a rest, so that they can lay more eggs, and possibly save themselves. Ginger, frustrated by their doubts, explains that there's a better place out there for them.
Ginger desperately begs for a solution. She then sees a rhode-island red rooster go flying over the fence. Looking down to see her, he crashes into a wind gauge, sending him to power wires, and flying right into the coop, causing a food tray to collapse on top of him. A poster he had on him drifts into Ginger's hands, giving her a new solution: to fly out, with the help of their visitor, who goes by the name of Rocky. Unfortunately, Rocky has been injured during his earlier crash-landing. He attempts to sneak out of the coop as Ginger attempts to discuss their dilemma with him. Upon realizing he comes from the circus, Ginger threatens to turn him over to the ringmaster if he doesn't give them flying lessons. Rocky reluctantly complies with Ginger's demands.
Over the next few days, Rocky, Ginger, and the other chickens go through various exercises, seemingly getting nowhere. One evening, Ginger and the other chickens observe a truck bringing something to the Tweedys. As Ginger confronts Rocky about their lack of progress, Mac realizes what they're doing wrong: they're not using enough thrust. The next morning, Ginger finds Rocky talking with Nick and Fetcher. Afterwards, Rocky does a thrust test with Bunty, sending her flying into the fence, and then right into Nick and Fetcher. Suddenly, another roll-call comes; Babs reveals that she hasn't laid any eggs for several days, meaning she is sure to be beheaded. Thankfully, Mrs. Tweedy doesn't take Babs to be beheaded; she simply does an obesity check on her, and asks Mr. Tweedy to increase the chickens' rations. Ginger, unlike the other chickens, immediately realizes what Mrs. Tweedy is planning to do, and reveals her intentions to the other chickens, leading Rocky to lecture her, causing a falling-out between them. Rocky, after seeing the chickens troubled now that they can't eat, knowing the Tweedys are trying to make them fat, organizes a disco to lift their spirits. After a dance, Rocky's wing completely heals. Ginger is delighted by this as Rocky is finally able to fly for them, and they make amends.
Meanwhile, the Tweedys have set up the equipment that was recently delivered to them, which is a massive, chicken-pot-pie making machine. They select Ginger to test out the machine. Fortunately, with Rocky's help, she tampers with the machine's inner workings and escapes. They reveal the Tweedy's intentions to the other chickens. Fowler, who initially disliked Rocky, warms up to him for helping Ginger escape from the pie machine, and, in gratitude, gives him his bunk. A little later, Ginger joins Rocky on the roof and they talk about their desired life-styles. The next day, Ginger goes to Hut 1 to get Rocky ready, but finds that he's gone. She finds Fowler's medal, which he gave Rocky, and another piece of Rocky's poster, which reveals he actually flew using a cannon. Ginger and the other chickens are dispirited by this revelation. When Fowler talks about his RAF days and the "old crate" again, causing all the chickens to fight amongst themselves, Ginger observes Fowler's image on his medal. After breaking up the fight, Ginger asks Fowler what the RAF is; he reveals that it stands for the Royal Air Force, and that the old crate is an aircraft he supposedly flew in. This inspires Ginger to build a plane to fly the coop. As Mr. Tweedy repairs the pie machine, Ginger sends Nick and Fetcher to collect the tools they need, as well as the Tweedy's laundry, paying them with eggs.
When Mr. Tweedy finishes repairing the pie machine, Mrs. Tweedy sends him to collect all the chickens; he is shocked when he sees them using his tools. Ginger stands up and attacks him, inspiring the other chickens to fight back as well. After tying up and imprisoning Mr. Tweedy, the chickens bring out their completed plane. Fowler reveals he never really flew the plane, because the Royal Air Force doesn't allow chickens like him behind aircraft controls. Luckily, Ginger and Bunty give Fowler the motivation he needs. Just as they're about to reach the ramp, Mr. Tweedy knocks it down, foiling their escape and forcing Fowler to turn the plane around. Ginger goes to set up the ramp again, but is confronted by an axe-wielding Mrs. Tweedy. Rocky (who was traveling the countryside and saw a billboard advertisement for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies) returns just in time to stop Mrs. Tweedy from attacking Ginger, and they set the ramp in place just at the last second.
Climbing back onto the plane using a string of lights that got stuck on it when Fowler turned it around, Ginger furiously slaps Rocky for abandoning them, and just as she's about to share a kiss with him for returning, Mrs. Tweedy grabs onto the string of lights. Ginger attempts to cut it using scissors. As Fowler turns the plane to avoid the same billboard Rocky saw, Ginger goes sliding along the string towards Mrs. Tweedy, Rocky, Nick, and Fetcher fire eggs at her to hinder her. In the confusion, Mrs. Tweedy knocks the scissors out of Ginger's hand, and prepares for a vicious blow with the axe in a final attempt to kill Ginger. Thinking fast, Ginger holds up the string so Mrs. Tweedy inadverently severs it, barely dodging the blow. Ginger drops the string, sending Mrs. Tweedy plummeting back down to the farm, right into the pie machine's safety valve, causing it to explode, foiling Mrs. Tweedy's plans for fame and fortune. Mr. Tweedy admonishes her, and, fed up with her abuse, crushes her with the barn door. Ginger, Rocky, Nick, Fetcher, Fowler, and the other chickens celebrate before continuing their flight to paradise. Sometime later, Ginger, Rocky, and the others have found a new home on a lush island, and have chicks of their own. Ginger acknowledges that their new home is greater than she imagined, and she takes Rocky so she can show him how to play cricket.