A HEN welfare charity anticipates a record-breaking summer.

The British Hen Welfare Trust – which helps to rescue hens from slaughter – is set to free more than 14,000 hens in June, 1,050 of which will be rehomed in Dorset.

The charity offers the hens to people to keep in their back gardens and yards.

Gaynor Davies, BHWT Head of Operations, said: “Our Dorset teams are delighted to be part of this record-breaking effort and, with any luck, come July there’ll be thousands more hens enjoying the summer sunshine on their wings.

“We’ve got 1,050 hens looking for homes in Dorset in June and July, so please get in touch if you can help.”

Given the volume of hens expected to need new homes, the trust is appealing to people across Dorset and the rest of the country to consider taking in hens.

Re-homings for hens in Dorset will take place in Blandford Forum on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, July 7 and in Bourton on Sunday, July 7.

Further information, especially for people looking to give a home to one of the hens, can be found at bhwt.org.uk

The British Hen Welfare Trust was established in 2005 by Jane Howorth, who was subsequently given an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.

It is Britain’s first registered charity for rehoming hens, and has collection points all over the country.

Regarding their goals, the charity says on its website: “We think all laying hens deserve to enjoy natural freedoms whilst they lay tasty eggs for us to eat; that means freedom to roam on green pasture, freedom to enjoy sunshine, freedom to scratch for insects and freedom to lay an egg in a nest.”

The charity says that there are about 16 million hens in colony cages throughout the UK.

The trust has re-homed over 700,000 cages hens which were due to be slaughtered, and 50,000 hens are rescued each year.

The charity also sets out to inform the public about what foods contain caged eggs, including some pastas, quiches, cakes and mayonnaises.