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Chance for people in King's Lynn to rehome ex-battery hens this weekend

A national hen welfare charity is giving people in Lynn the chance to welcome some new feathery additions into their family this weekend, by adopting some ex-bats.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), which will be hosting a hen collection in Lynn on Sunday, November 17, rehomes laying hens once they reach 18-months-old and are no longer deemed commercially viable.

The charity collects the hens from farms and works with a network of volunteers to find suitable retirement homes for thousands of hens each year.

Hen-keeping is on the rise across the UK with an estimated 1,000,000 households now having hens in their back garden, making chickens the sixth most popular household pet after dogs, cat, fish, rabbits and hamsters.

Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: “It comes as no surprise to us that hen keeping is becoming increasingly common as we know better than most what amazing pets they make.

"They’re intelligent, friendly and inquisitive and soon find their way into people’s hearts.

"There’s something particularly special about rehoming ex-bat hens, as not only have you saved their lives, but you’ve given them the first chance to really experience what life is all about and it’s through that joint experience that gives us lucky people the chance to form special relationships with our hens."

She added: “Just because it’s a bit cold outside, don’t let that put you off adopting some hens.

"These resilient pets may come out of their cages missing a few feathers, but they’ll soon be sporting a new set of fluffy bloomers and we think a warm cosy coop is the least they deserve after all their diligent egg laying.”

The BHWT was founded in 2005 by Jane, who has been the driving force behind the charity that now operates from 40+ locations across the UK, supported by almost 1,000 volunteers.

The charity has to date rehomed more than 12,000 hens across the Norfolk area.

Hannah Griffiths, from Norwich, adopted Bluebell from Lynn. She said: “My parents and I have been rescuing hens via BHWT for over 10 years now. After a few hen free years at university, Bluebell is one of the first flock I rescued with my boyfriend.

“She was the scruffiest and least-feathered hen of our flock we rescued in February and now the most beautiful and spoilt of them all.”

Andy Beecroft, Norfolk co-ordinator, said: “Rehoming ex-bats from the BHWT certainly brings about a touch of the feelgood factor as you give your little flock the chance to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and dust baths. It’s the first chance they’ll have had to enjoy many of the things that come naturally to a chicken.

“These hardworking little ladies will be coming out of their cages this weekend, so we really hope the Norfolk public get behind us and give as many of them homes as possible.”

If you would like to rehome a flock of your own, a rehoming is taking place in Kings Lynn on Sunday, November 17.

To book simply register your details at www.bhwt.org.uk and then call Hen Central on 01884 860084.

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