Rehoming Day Administrator

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A day in the life of Varrie, one of our Volunteer Rehoming Day Administrators

Varrie McDevitt

My name is Varrie and my husband, son, family and friends refer to me as “The Crazy Chicken Lady”.. guilty as charged.

I am part of a fabulous team of volunteers at the Denny rehoming site in Scotland and I am responsible for the admin duties on rehoming days.

I created a Denny rehoming Facebook page and ahead of the rehoming dates we share the posts sent out by Hen Central across all the local Facebook pages to generate interest. We all worry about getting enough homes for the number of hens we’re allowed to take, but amazingly we always manage it.

On the day of the rehoming, I usually get involved collecting the hens from the farm. Once we return to the rehoming site, the hens are unloaded from the crates, checked over and counted. It’s then time for me to look over the paperwork and you can virtually guarantee that the count you just carried out is wrong as the hens run about experiencing their first taste of freedom. Whoever coined the phrase “like herding cats” never tried herding chickens.

I check over the paperwork we get from Hen Central. I love seeing pages and pages of names of the wonderful people willing to give the hens a new home and life, and particularly finding out who the first time rehomers are. I highlight the new hen parents to ensure when they arrive I provide advice on the dos and donts of hen keeping – I love a chat about hens; who doesn’t??

You will then find me at our makeshift reception desk with my best pencil case in hand welcoming the rehomers as they arrive. We always take extra hens from the farm, we call them “luckies” and I always ask each rehomer if they would like any extra hens, ensuring they have enough space. Importantly there is always time for plenty of tea, cake, hen chat and hen cuddles.

Rehomers arrive with their carriers, I take their name, confirm the number of hens reserved and ask if they would like to take any luckies and discuss their facilities. As we approach the last pages of the rehoming list we begin to count the hens, numerous times, and each time reveals a different number. Normally by this time we worry that we do not have enough hens to give to the remaining rehomers and start to panic. But rest assured we counted wrong again and by the time the last half dozen rehomers arrive, the figures seem to add up perfectly.

I love being part of BHWT and the Denny Team. The chat the entire day is about hens – we all know the number of hens each other keeps, the names of their hens and the mischief their hens have been up to since the last rehoming. Oh and there is nothing like sharing the vet trip details and what month you had to live off beans and toast because of the vet bill!

At the end of the day there is nothing better than waving the last hens off to their home and hoping that every hen saved from slaughter that day gets a lovely name, receives endless love, and has a long and happy retirement.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, please complete the Volunteer Application.

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