The British Hen Welfare Trust has this year alone re-homed 56,000 hens which ranks as one of its top three re-homing years since it was founded in 2005. This is despite the charity having to postpone its December re-homing dates due to an Avian Flu lockdown.
All those 56,000 hens are now enjoying life as free range birds and will have undoubtedly become a much-loved part of the family who adopted them.
The current Avian Flu Prevention Zone covering the whole country means all captive poultry must be kept indoors or kept separate from wild birds.
It was put in place on December 6 for 30 days so is due to end on January 6, after which the BHWT will be holding a re-homing event in South Zeal in Okehampton.
This will take place on Sunday, 8 January and will kick off the charity’s re-homing events for 2017.
Charity Founder Jane Howorth MBE said: “This year has been just phenomenal for the charity. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers not just in Devon, but across the country, there are thousands of hens enjoying a free range life as nature intended. This means more and more people are now aware of what fantastic pets hens make, and that is something we plan on throwing into the spotlight even more come 2017.
“Not only that, we will be starting the building work for the UK’s first hen welfare and education centre, right here in North Devon! We still have £75,000 to raise to cover the building costs, so if any kind-hearted members of the North Devon public are able to chip in for chickens please do get in touch.”
The BHWT’s Head of Operations, Gaynor Davies, added: “These little ladies deserve a second chance in life, so to think there are 56,000 of them now out of their cages, scratching around for bugs and dust bathing, is incredible. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our supporters, so cheers to them, and here’s to an even better 2017.”
For more information about re-homings, or to donate, visit www.bhwt.org.uk