Hundreds of ex-battery hens destined for slaughter are hoping they will be saved from their fate in the New Year. 

The hens, which have been freed from battery cages, are being re-homed by the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) at the start of January. 

During the first 18 months of their life, the ex-commercial hens will have been laying eggs to be bought in supermarkets and to be put into processed foods. 

After this time, their egg laying passes its peak and there are sent to slaughter, unless the BHWT steps in to save them. 

240 hens will be looking for homes on Sunday, January 7 at Bourton in Dorset, but so far only 58 of them have homes.

The charity is encouraging anyone with space in their back garden to get in touch and possibly save a life.
Victoria Daniels, Bourton co-ordinator, said: “These hens don’t know how lucky they are.

“They’re the small few who will avoid the slaughter lorry and start their year in the best possible way by becoming much-loved pets. You’ll even get a few eggs in return for saving their lives. They really do become part of the family, so if you’re able to help, please call.”

The BHWT re-homed 59,000 hens in 2017 and is hoping for the same in 2018. In August, more than 370 hens were given the chance of a new life after kind-hearted residents saved them, with teams working in Blandford Forum and Bourton.

The charity was established in 2005 by Jane Howorth, and is Britain’s first registered charity for re-homing laying hens. In the UK there are approximately 16 million hens kept in colony cages, and the BHWT has so far found retirement homes for more than 600,000 caged hens.

To re-home some birds register your details at and call 01884 860084 to speak to the charity’s re-homing team who will be able to provide more information.