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From zero to ten thousand – Cheshire team rehomes it’s 10,000th hen

David and Sarah Marek coordinate and host the charity’s Cheshire rehomings from their home in Nantwich. They, and rest of the Cheshire team, were delighted to reach an astonishing milestone on the 24th October when the 10,000th hen passed through their field on her way to a happy retirement.

The team has a large pool of volunteers and those that attended on the day are pictured above. From left to right: Sophie Hunter, Sharon Whitehead, Angela Sherwin, Andy Whitehead, the two adopters of hen number 10,000, Sarah Marek, Margaret Dunbar, Gill Orchard, Neil Hewitt.

“We adopted our first group of hens from the BHWT in 2015 and started volunteering for the charity shortly after that at the Overton collection point.” explains David.

“These little hens touch your heart. In our first group of 3 adoptees there was a tiny little hen, who we named Holly, who arrived in the middle of winter with very little feathers, and who sadly spent her first few months at the bottom of the pecking order, as we slowly integrated the adopted 3 with our original hens. She’d be picked on by one hen in particular, but eventually all of them became one happy flock, and Holly and her sisters, with their friendly nature and individual characters made such an imprint on us. After this we wanted to rehome more hens and our next set of 5 adoptees turned out to be 7 – a pattern that continued as we adopted more… and more! There’s always room for 1 or 2 more hens!”

“We soon became more involved with the charity and had a vision of adopting as many hens ourselves as we could, offering them a free-range life in a field that we’re fortunate to have. However, given that we have a field we thought there was a different use we could put it to, and a bigger impact we could make for the hens, and so we offered it as a collection point for the BHWT in June 2018.”

“Our aim is the same today as it’s always been when we’ve adopted hens over the years. We want as many hens as possible to enjoy a life with fresh air and sunshine on their wings, and we’ll do what we can to make this happen.”

David Marek

“We try to have rehomings here every month or so, and we’re in a great location in the country with a good set of farms within a 2 hour drive. We get to work with BHWT volunteer teams north, south, east and west from here. We always take extra hens from the farm when we can – experience has taught us that there’s always adopters who will happily take an extra hen, and these are more lives saved.”

“It’s great to see a recent increase in adoptions. Nationally the charity has had a lot of enquiries for hens, over the last few months and we’re seeing this locally too. Our last 3 rehomings have each seen over 540 hens collected from farms which is amazing!”

Cheshire Team's 10,000th Hen Rehoming
Some of the hens awaiting their adopters at the Cheshire team’s rehoming

“We love the rehoming days too, there’s nothing more rewarding than taking the hens from their cages in a farm in the morning, and seeing them head off with excited adopters in the afternoon. It does help if it the weather’s dry and mild, but the team has a great pool of dedicated volunteers and we couldn’t do this without their help, involvement and enthusiasm, come rain or shine!”

“It’s great to build connections with adopters too and we’re seeing familiar faces return for more hens, as well as a steady increase in first time adopters, which is great. It’s lovely to see excited rehomers leave with their new pet hen knowing that they’ll be well cared for and a whole new world awaits the hens and their new owners.”

The Cheshire team has had 31 rehomings so far and seen 10,000 hens off to their new homes – here’s to many more successful events, and thousands more hens starting to enjoy their retirement with the help of the team.

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