Animal-loving university students have re-homed ex-commercial hens destined for slaughter at a collection carried out by an animal welfare charity.
Students at Imperial College London’s postgraduate campus, Silwood Park, re-homed 20 hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust’s re-homing point in Crowthorne, Berkshire.
The project, known as the Silwood Chicken Club, is made up of current and former Imperial College students enthusiastic about our feathery friends, yet at the same time mostly inexperienced when it comes to poultry husbandry. The club was established in 2008 and, whilst most of its current hens were re-homed, a few were born on campus with cockerels and ducks also residing there too.
Antje, the club’s administrator and also a PhD student at Imperial, told us: “Personally I simply enjoy chickens. Observing their behaviours and the physical work involved with husbandry is so much fun and on top of that they provide eggs all year round!”
Antje has been a member of the club since January last year and, alongside fellow administrator Ros, has been continuing to develop the club and its hen area.
“My role as administrator includes training new members and selling eggs on campus whilst Ros orders the feed and travels to any vet appointments”, explained Antje. “We even have a weekly Wednesday communal cleaning session!”
The club asks for a £10 membership fee to help cover the costs of food and bedding, but this is quickly returned in the form of eggs when working shifts.
The British Hen Welfare Trust is well-known for its pioneering work in re-homing commercial laying hens and, through its nationwide team of 450+ volunteers, has found homes for more than 550,000 hens since hatching in 2005. As well as finding homes for hens, the charity also educates the public on how they can make a difference to hen welfare through their shopping basket and eating habits.
The BHWT regularly re-home in Crowthorne. If you would like to give a hen a happy home simply visit www.bhwt.org.uk.