Ex-battery hens in need of free-range retirement homes

BHWT founder Jane Howorth MBE

The BHWT was established in 2005 by Jane Howorth MBE - Credit: BHWT

A brood of homeless hens are hoping for a free-range retirement in Suffolk after being saved from slaughter.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) has launched an adoption appeal to find new owners for the former battery birds.

The hens will be ready and waiting for their new owners in a Suffolk village this weekend. 

Stanton hen rehoming

Jane Chandler (left) and Sara Horncastle (right), rehoming team volunteers at Stanton - Credit: BHWT

Kathryn Howard, public relations officer for the BHWT, said: "We don’t tend to think of chickens as pets, but once you invite these funny little creatures into your home, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

"They have great personalities, they can be affectionate, they’re fun to watch and, of course, they’ll lay you the freshest eggs you’ve ever had.

“If you have a bit of space in your garden, you could do something amazing by adopting some hens and literally save their lives.

“I recently went along to an adoption event and saw the hens leaving the farm and feeling fresh air and seeing sunlight for the first time.

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"It’s truly one of the most heart-warming, life-affirming things I’ve ever been a part of, and, by adopting hens, you could also be a part of that."

Glynis Pearson, BHWT rehoming team volunteer at Stanton

Glynis Pearson, BHWT rehoming team volunteer at Stanton, with one of the many thousands of hens saved from slaughter each year - Credit: BHWT

The BHWT was established in 2005 by Jane Howorth MBE and now has 1,000 volunteers.

It was the UK’s first charity to save laying hens from slaughter and rehome them as family pets.

Each year, the Devon based charity saves more than 60,000 hens and has saved over 840,000 hens since it was established.

As well as rehoming laying hens, it works towards improving hen welfare across commercial and domestic sectors.

Anyone interested in giving one of the hens a home must sign up to register their interest by Thursday, August 5.

The hens will be ready to be picked up from one of 44 pop-up collection points, in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday, August 8.

The BHWT asks for a donation to cover adoption costs and hen welfare campaigning work, such as veterinary and education programmes.

To sign up for adopting a hen, click here to visit the charity's website or call 01884 860084.

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