Animal Friends Blog
Our fantastic friends at the British Hen Welfare Trust have written a blog for us about the brilliant birds they save and rehome. Have you ever wondered what they do and how they find forever homes for the feathered fowls? Read on and find out!
One of the British Hen Welfare Trust’s main aims is to improve the life of the humble laying hen. Through our national re-homing scheme we are able to organise the collection and re-homing of up to 60,000 ex-commercial hens every year.
Our teams of dedicated volunteers give up their weekends, often working from dawn, to ensure that as many hens as possible are given the chance to live out a free range retirement in loving pet homes. After being collected from the units where they have lived for the first 18 months of their lives, the hens are transported to collection points where they are fed, watered and checked for any obvious health issues. They also get their first taste of fresh air, sunlight and soft bedding under their feet.
Rehoming the hens
Over the course of the next few hours the hens are picked up and taken home by kind re-homers who have pre-registered their interest and been allocated hens. It’s when they get back to their new homes when the fun really begins for these lucky girls. They now need to learn all the basic hen behaviours such as learning to shelter from the elements, scratch for tasty treats, dust bathe to keep their feathers clean and to take themselves to roost at night to keep safe from predators.
The speed with which these clever hens settle into their new roles as much loved family pets never fails to astonish, as our supporters tell us time and time again. Lara, a young re-homer who picked up hens from our Gateshead collection point said this about her newly collected girls;
“Initially they seemed wary of me, so I visited them every few hours in their temporary stable and talked to them until they let me begin to stroke them. After a week we moved them into a larger outside and they began to enjoy walking around pecking the grass. They have been here for several weeks now and they let me pick them up and cuddle them.”
The BHWT rely entirely on the help of kind donors in order to continue our life-saving work. The £6,000 received from Animal Friends will allow us to continue recruiting and training the hen-loving volunteers who make everything possible and, in doing so, ensure that many more hens, just like Lara’s girls can flourish into gorgeous family pets.
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