BHWT News

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

Your Chickens - - Contents -

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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.

FEEL-GOOD FAC­TOR

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.

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