A long day but thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding at our BHWT re-homing with 201 hens saved from slaughter and off to their new homes.
After two alarms went off at 4:15am we set off for the farm in Leicestershire. We always try and allow plenty of time and get there early so that we can get our bearings at the farm and get things ready. This is the third time we’ve been to this farm and since the last time we were there they’ve had some concrete installed to complete a circuit around the buildings – brilliant! This means that thankfully my limited trailer reversing skills wouldn’t be tested today!
We were collecting hens with 4 other BHWT teams and after a great team effort the entire flock of 1200 hens were in crates in vans or trailers and about to set off in different directions onto the collection points in Cheshire, the West Midlands, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Derbyshire. The caged hens had been moved to a holding barn and were a bit tricky to catch but every single one from the flock was taken – even the hen that ran out to the field! With a pincer movement from Dan and I, and a couple of landing nets we picked her up and put her in a crate – we weren’t going to leave her behind. Pictures from the farm taken by Jane Osgathorp.
After a couple of hours on a busier northbound M6 we arrived home, took a couple of minutes our stretch our legs, then with the help of the other Cheshire volunteers, unloaded the crates and let the hens settle before their adopters arrived.
It wasn’t long before the steady stream of re-homers arrived to collect their girls and in no time the shed was clear – apart from hens that were being picked up in the next day or two. It’s lovely speaking to people that come to collect their new pets, but more so when it’s people that are collecting their first ever hens – lots of joy and happiness ahead for both the hens and their new owners.
Another feel good day – from being part of a brilliant team at the farm to helping see off 201 hens to their happy retirements with our great local volunteers. It’s all about the hens though – enjoy your retirement girls – fresh air, green grass and sunbathing await!