Thousands of hens will be hopping on a sleigh towards their new forever homes this festive season, hoping to find a cosy coop at the bottom of a garden in which to spend the rest of their days - and rehomings are taking place in the Wigan area.
Animal welfare charity, the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), is appealing to kind-hearted members of the public to spread some festive cheer by offering 4,000 ex-commercial hens a loving new home and giving them their first chance of life outside a cage.
The appeal comes as the BHWT and its team of volunteers make their final round of life-saving hen collections for 2019, taking this year’s total well over 65,000 hens rehomed.
Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: “All you need to take in some of these lovely girls is a coop in your garden and space for three or more hens to spread their wings and scratch around for bugs and slugs. These
intelligent and friendly girls have been living in cages for 18 months laying eggs for us to use in our eggnog and Christmas cakes, and now we have the opportunity to repay them.
“Come Christmas Day I’ll be in the garden treating my girls to a grape or two, thinking of all the other hens around the UK we’ve managed to find homes for this year. Anyone lucky enough to adopt one of these last few hens will no doubt be witnessing their very own Christmas miracle as they watch the incredible transformation of caged hens to free-range feathery friends. What better way to end the year knowing you’ve saved a few lives?”
The BHWT operates across the UK, rehoming ex-commercial laying hens who are otherwise sent to slaughter at 18 months when they are deemed no longer commercially viable.
Since the charity launched in 2005, chickens have clucked their way up the charts to become the sixth most popular pet in the UK, hot on the heels of hamsters. However, the charity can only rehome the hens it has homes for, which is why more adopters are needed this Christmas.
Rehomings are taking place in Wigan and Edenfield on December 14.
If you’d like to rehome a flock of your own, simply register your details at www.bhwt.org.uk and then call Hen Central on 01884 860084.