Update: As of Thursday, March 19 the event has been cancelled.
ONE HUNDRED chickens are looking for a new home, after they were rescued from slaughter by the British Hen Welfare Trust.
This weekend, 240 hens are up for rehoming, with adoptive parents registering to collect 100 of the birds already.
The Devon-based charity, which operates across the country, will be hosting a hen rehoming session on Saturday, March 21 in Crowthorne.
The BHWT rehomes laying hens once they reach 18 months old and are no longer deemed commercially viable. The charity collects the hens from farms and works with a network of volunteers to find suitable retirement homes for more than 65,000 hens each year who would otherwise be destined for slaughter.
The hens may be a little feather bare on arrival, but in time, their feathers will regrow and their comb will regain a healthy red colour.
The BHWT say that the birds quickly revert to their natural instincts of perching, scratching for insects and seeds and enjoying a relaxing sunbathe.
Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: “We’re all set and ready to send hundreds of hens flying off to a free-range retirement, we just need the people of Berkshire to help us find them all suitable homes.
“All you need is a cosy coop, enough space for the hens to scratch for bugs and slugs and some room in your heart for these lovely girls, who really don’t take long to become part of the family.
“These girls will be over the moon to have a chance to see what life is really all about, and might even lay you your very own Easter egg.
“We’ve found homes for more than 750,000 chickens across the country now and there’s a reason they are becoming so popular to keep as pets. They’re intelligent, friendly and thoroughly entertaining to watch and we believe they are good for people’s wellbeing too. We’ll be taking these hens from their cages for the first time this weekend, please help us repay these hens for their egg laying efforts and save them from slaughter.”
Yesterday, Beth Sullivan at the BHWT confirmed that the re-homing event will still go ahead, and that they team are “regularly reviewing the situation, and will work to rehome the hens as safely as possible.”
The deadline for registration is today — Thursday, March 19. To book a slot, visit www.bhwt.org.uk/register/ and then call Hen Central on 01884 860084.
Those who register will be informed about the collection location.