The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) rehomes thousands of ex-bats, but would like to offer many more a new lease of life. With this in mind, the organisation is appealing to stable or barn owners to help on rehoming days, reveals the charity’s founder Jan
DO YOU have a barn or a stable going spare? Is it crying out to be given a new lease of life and eager to do some good in the world rather than sitting unused? If you have, the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) would appreciate using it from time to time to help save feathery lives.
The BHWT is in search of new host sites in two key locations: Bristol and Hereford. Helping hens will involve lending out your stable or barn to house some chickens for a few hours. You can get as involved (or not) as you like as the charity has a merry team of trained volunteers who will come in and do the work, as well as clean up after themselves.
The need has arisen because the charity’s aim is to be able to offer hens a new start in life in all corners of Britain, so stones are being turned in its pursuit of finding suitable sites to help more hens. Places where people are desperate to experience the joys of keeping ex-bats, but are unable to as they lack a nearby re-homing point, merits a plea for support, which is why the BHWT is appealing to Your Chickens readers for help. Do you live in Hereford or Bristol? The requirements would be the empty barn or stable enclosure being made available for a few hours once every four to six weeks? If so, you could be a lifesaver. Literally.
As the aforementioned volunteers would testify, re-homing days can be long and tiring, but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing hundreds of hens head off to a free-range retirement.
These hens will have been laying diligently in their cages for 18 months and have reached a point where their egg laying perhaps slows down or becomes a little more irregular. Because of this they are no longer commercially viable and so they are sent to slaughter, ending up in pet food or used in processed food products and takeaways. Yet they have so much more life in them, which is why the charity works tirelessly to give them an alternative — and much nicer — fate.
Host sites are crucial to the charity’s work. The BHWT always needs secure places — somewhere the hens can rest with some food and water. Once transported from the poultry farm, they will generally stay between three or four hours at the collection point until they are collected by their new owners. A host site also needs a parking area, plus a water supply for washing crates.
Whether you want to be hands on (or not), you can enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded people and the feel-good factor that comes from doing a good deed. Oh and did I mention… there is also nearly always cake?
If you think you can help, and would like a no obligation chat, tel: 01884 860084; or email: Gaynor.davies@bhwt. co.uk. There are thousands of hens sitting patiently waiting in their cages hoping that you will.