A very rewarding and enjoyable day volunteering for the British Hen Welfare Trust at Countryfile Live 2017!
After a 5am alarm, a quick shower and a check over of all the hens, we set off for Blenheim Palace and for some reason, at 6am on a Sunday morning the M6 was a lot quieter than we were used to! After 132 miles we arrived at the showground and after a roll with eggs provided by our girls, headed off to the entrance to get our show passes.
The venue was huge, with dozens of exhibitors, food areas and events and we were only briefly able to take it all in on our way to the poultry tent, which was part of the Adam’s Farm area of the show. The BHWT shared the tent with Jamie from PoultryTalk , whose chick handling sessions went down extremely well with all ages, Dawn and Leanne from Unipet that had a great display of their Hentastic products and Peck & Feather who were selling some lovely chicken themed jewellery and scarves.
The day was spent talking to the hundreds of people that came to the tent about all things hens; the excellent pets that re-homed ex-bats are, the work that the BHWT does, the logistics of rehoming days and even questions about how to store eggs. One particular moment that put a huge smile on our faces was when we got asked a question from a concerned owner about bare skin on a hen that she re-homed in May. We reassured her that the hen would be okay, as the feathers could sometimes take a few months to grown back, and indeed one of our hens, Daisy, from a May rehoming also, still has some bare skin around her front and back, to which the visitor laughed and smiled – her hen that she got at the same time had also been named Daisy!
We took away lots of great memories from the day and had a thoroughly enjoyable time meeting everyone that we did, and were able to promote the work of the BHWT to both people that had hens but would now be getting more hens from the charity as a result of speaking to the volunteers at the show, and also to those that hadn’t heard of the BHWT but were now aware of what it does. Of the many things that were said, a few stand out; the young boy after holding and stroking a hen on his knee: “That was the BEST thing EVER!”, the girl to her parents on where they’d keep the hens there were going to re-home: “Can we keep them in the bedroom?”, the gentleman when talking about an upcoming rehoming date later on in August: “Thank you for your help – we’ll be there.”
However, there was one thing that was said to me that capped it all, and left me a satisfying feeling that as a result of what all the volunteers did over the 4 days at the show that even more hens will now be re-homed. I spoke to a lady about the egg industry, what the BHWT does, and the rewarding pets that the hens become, and at the end of the conversation she said: “Thank you very much, that’s given me the push I need, I’ll be rehoming soon”