Nearly everyone who has given a home to a hen with the British Hen Welfare Trust said that they would recommend the birds as pets, a survey has shown.

The Trust surveyed more than 1,000 of its 60,000 supporters, in which it found that more than half of them had rehomed hens from the charity (52 per cent) on more than one occasion, while 99.2 per cent said they would recommend it to their family and friends.

The hens - which are known as 'ex-bats' (referring to their status as ex-battery hens) - are rehomed by the Trust after they have been used for commercial purposes.

Trish Chapman, Dorset Co-ordinator for the British Hen Welfare Trust, said: "It’s clear that keeping ex-bats is not only hugely rewarding but adds a new dimension to family life – not to mention delicious eggs. I loved reading our latest Hensus results, especially when reading how hens have enriched the lives of the people who’ve rehomed them. I’m biased, of course, but if you’re looking for a household pet with additional egg-shaped benefits then please consider adopting some hens."

The British Hen Welfare Trust is a charity that gives homes to hens that are 18 months old and have been used to lay eggs that are sold in supermarkets.

Many of them will have been kept in cages while they were being used in this way.

The survey also found that these hens make excellent pets, with 72 per cent of the supporters saying that they see their hen as equal as their other pets. A total of 13 per cent also said that their hens are nice to have in their garden and that they considered them to be a hobby.

The British Hen Welfare Trust adds that hens are fairly inexpensive to keep, with rehomers saying that they spend about £10 to £25 per month on their hen.

People in Dorset interested in giving these hens a new home will soon the opportunity.

On Saturday, September 7, the British Hen Welfare Trust is coming to Blandford to offer rehoming.

To find out more, visit and call Hen Central on 01884 860084.