chicken-and-egg - page 11

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
Alongside our re-homing volunteers we have
a small team of staff at Hen Central in North
Devon. The phones ring every day, even
during winter months, indicating your love
for hen keeping is in no danger of tailing
off. Five of the ten staff deal with hen
reservations, with each responsible for
booking and therefore saving around 10,000
hens from slaughter each year – we think it’s
probably one of the best jobs in the world.
• Average number of calls per day: 125
• Most hens booked out in one day: 1,000
• Average time spent on the phone: 7
• Average number of hens re-homed per
booking: 5
• Number of poorly hen queries dealt with
per week: 25
Overseeing the team is the charity’s Head
of Operations, Gaynor Davies, who liaises
with farms and ensures that every hen, every
volunteer and every re-homer is in the right
place at the right time. Gaynor also deals
with Advice Line calls, helping poorly hens
each week. In her spare time, she volunteers
and has helped over 9,000 hens onto a
better life from her home in Okehampton.
From humble beginnings in 2005, the British
Hen Welfare Trust has grown into a national
organisation envisioning a future in which all
laying hens are kept in small flock, free range
systems. Twelve years have seen more than
80,000 families enter the endearing world of
keeping ex-bats, the percentage of caged
eggs sold drop from 52% to 41%, and
pledges from most major UK supermarkets
to stop selling whole eggs from caged hens.
In part this is due to the role the BHWT
has played in raising the profile of these
humble birds, and our work will continue
with the launch of our learning programme
this month, and the building of the UK’s first
dedicated hen welfare and education centre
next year.
Here’s to the next milestone of 700,000
hens. And thank you for your compassion.
Together we are changing the face of
farming – one hen at a time.
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