Rehoming Day Helper
We are the British Hen Welfare Trust and since 2005 we have been saving and rehoming ex-caged laying hens throughout the United Kingdom. Working closely with leaders in the egg industry, we designed and developed the original rehoming model for ex-caged hens, and so far have found homes for over 800,000 hens to date.
We’re looking for volunteer drivers to load and transport hens from commercial farms (assisted by other BHWT volunteers), and deliver them to our rehoming sites throughout England, Wales and Scotland.
Each rehoming site conducts approximately 10 events a year which are generally held on weekends.
As a volunteer driver you will travel to commercial farms and rehoming points within your designated area. Ideally you will be used to driving some distances towing a trailer or driving a van. We will provide training and support, both remotely from Hen Central, and face to face with our local volunteer team coordinator leads.
A day in the life of Louise, one of our Rehoming Day Helpers
As the van turns into the driveway, it’s all systems go. The hens have had a momentous day, but for them it is hugely stressful. Very often we are working in hot or cold temperatures, but the welfare of the hens on board is our utmost priority.
The crates contain 12 hens each and there’s generally 60 crates so it’s relatively heavy work, but we always work efficiently and quietly to reduce any stress to the hens.
We unload the crates from the van, take them to the barn, unload the hens from the crates as quietly as possible and leave them to settle with plenty of food and water. We also check them over to make sure they’re all fit, and healthy enough to be rehomed.
The dirty crates are lifted out of the barn cleaned and disinfected. This generally takes a couple of hours, fun in the heat when the sun is shining, not so much fun in the cold of winter…!
It’s a quick turnaround as soon enough, the rehomers begin to arrive
One volunteer will do the paperwork, checking the rehomers in. A couple of volunteers catch the hens and others put the hens into the containers the owners bring to take them home.
You soon learn if a hen is too poorly to be rehomed, if her nails need clipping or if the carrier an owner has brought with them is too small, or not sturdy enough to contain the hens before they arrive home!
And before you know it, after about 3 hours, you’ve dealt with about 400 hens, spoken to so many lovely adopters and rehomed them all.
Don’t wear your best clothes, don’t expect to go home clean and tidy, and you’ll be exhausted, but I can’t recommend it enough when you know you’ve made a difference by helping animals live a better life.
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