Rescue laying hens are looking for to start a new life in the Banbury and Warwickshire areas after a caged existence - rehoming is on Sunday
The birds have been rescued by the British Hen Welfare Trust (BWHT) which is appealing for homes for the former battery hens to save them from slaughter and use as soups and dog food.
The charity has been given the use of facilities for rehoming at Cotswold Chickens, on the main Banbury to Stratford Road, near Kineton. The collections will be at the centre on Sunday (March 27). Hens should be ordered as soon as possible on the number below.
The BHWT re-homes laying hens once they reach 18 months old and are no longer deemed commercially viable. Hens kept in good conditions and protected from predators can live until seven-years-old and even older. They continue to lay throughout their lives and with each year, their eggs get bigger.
The charity collects the hens from farms and works with a network of volunteers to find suitable retirement homes for more than 65,000 hens each year who would otherwise be destined for slaughter.
The caged hens may have a lot of bald patches because they have not been kept in natural conditions. However with a more natural lifestyle these return, their combs regain a healthy red colour and they quickly revert to their natural instincts of perching and scratching for insects and seeds.
Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: "We have a great teams of volunteers all ready to send hens off to a free-range retirement, we just need the people of Kineton and surrounding areas to help us find them all suitable homes. All you need is a cosy coop, enough space for the hens to scratch for bugs and slugs and some room in your heart for these lovely girls, who really don’t take long to become part of the family.
“We’ve found homes for more than 750,000 chickens across the country now and there’s a reason they are becoming so popular to keep as pets. They’re intelligent, friendly and thoroughly entertaining to watch and we believe they are good for people’s well-being too. We’ll be taking these hens from their cages for the first time this weekend so please help us put a smile on their faces and send them off to experience life in the outside world," she said.
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.
To book your hens simply register your details at www.bhwt.org.uk/register/ and then call Hen Central on 01884 860084.