A pilot for the series was broadcast in September as part of of Channel 4's Comedy Showcase season, but the network has passed on the opportunity to commission the show, leaving the door open for Sky to take over.
Chickens is written by and stars Simon Bird and Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners) alongside their long-time comedy partner Jonny Sweet. The trio, who have been writing together since they met at Cambridge University, previously performed together as live comedy sketch group House Of Windsor.
The show follows the adventures of three young men who are staying at home rather than fighting in the First World War: George (Joe Thomas) is a conscientious objector; Cecil (Simon Bird) would love to be fighting for queen and country but his flat feet mean the army won't have him; and Herb (Jonny Sweet) is 'a philandering scaredicat on the run'. The trio live in a cottage together and, in the eyes of their neighbours, they're all the same: chickens.
Sky1 has ordered a six-part series of Chickens from Big Talk Productions, the production company which made the original pilot for Channel 4. This is not the first time Sky has commissioned a show another channel has past on: surreal sitcom This Is Jinsy started life as a BBC Three pilot before being picked up by Sky Atlantic.
Commissioner Lucy Lumsden says: "We have fallen in love with those naughty Chickens and think our customers will do too. We are delighted to give such a talented bunch a home on Sky 1 HD."
Executive Producer Kenton Allen adds: "Winning our first commission for Sky1 HD is a very significant moment for Big Talk. I know that Simon, Jonny and Joe will play a huge role in the future story of British Comedy and it's particularly thrilling that Sky1 HD are helping them make the big leap forward with their own authored series - we are all very excited!"
Simon Bird, Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas comment: "We're delighted to be joining the Sky family to be making a series of our First World War sitcom, Chickens. It was the war to end all wars, and we hope this will be the comedy to end all comedies."
This show becomes a latest in a long line of commissions for Sky, as it continues its programme of investing £600 million in new British programming. Other new comedy series coming up on the channel include A Touch Of Cloth, Gates, Moone Boy, Parents and Starlings; with Spy, Stella, The Café, Mount Pleasant and Trollied amongst the new Sky shows that have already been granted a second series.
Chickens will be filmed in December, for a broadcast in the summer of 2013.
Below is a clip from the pilot: