A CHARITY that offers hens a free-range retirement is returning to Crowthorne this weekend in a bid to unite the fowls with friends.
The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) seeks to rehome former battery-farmed birds.
Each of the hens come to the end of their working life when they are 18-months-old and no longer deemed commercially viable.
Using a network of volunteers, the charity finds suitable retirement homes for the hens, which would otherwise be slaughtered.
The BHWT says those who adopt these hens are giving the birds a second chance at life, and evidence suggests there are significant benefits for the people keeping hens as pets too.
Jane Howorth MBE, BHWT founder, said: “When I started this charity, it was all about hens and improving their lives and overall welfare standards.
“And whilst hen welfare is still at the heart of all that we do, over time we’ve started to see the real difference that hens are making to people’s lives too.
“There’s something so special about these birds, and more and more we’re gathering evidence about how they are helping to improve people’s mental health, giving people more confidence and helping people learn and develop new skills.
She continued: “These hens really are remarkable little animals and I would urge anyone who can to give keeping hens a try. The ex-commercial hens we rehome are particularly sweet and friendly, so we hope the people of Berkshire will give these girls a chance to enjoy a free-range retirement, just in time for spring.”
The charity, which was founded 15 years ago, has rehomed more than 750,000 hens from more than 40 locations, thanks to a team of almost 1,000 volunteers.
The next event takes place at a location in Crowthorne on Sunday. Organisers are not revealing it in case any foxes get wind of the plan.
For more details, or to register, log on to www.bhwt.org.uk/register/ or call Hen Central on 01884 860084.