OVER a hundred happy hens have been saved from slaughter after being rehomed at an animal sanctuary near Kidderminster.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), a national charity that rehomes thousands of ex-commercial laying hens each year, has launched a new rehoming point in Milson, Kidderminster after teaming up with Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries.

The charity will be sending 120 hens flapping off to start a free-range retirement this Sunday (January 19), giving the birds their first taste of life outside a cage.

Now, the organisations are appealing for kind-hearted members of the public to collect hens from its rehoming in Kidderminster this weekend.

After adopting some hens of its own and seeing first-hand the work done by the BHWT, Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries stepped forward and offered to host regular hen rehomings and give people the chance to experience the benefits of keeping hens as pets.

Hen keeping is on the rise and chickens were recently discovered to be the sixth most popular household pet after dogs, cat, fish, rabbits and hamsters according to the UK Pet Survey, with an estimated one million hen keepers across the UK.

The hens rehomed by the BHWT are 18 months old, at which point they are no longer considered commercially viable and are classed as ‘end of lay’.

The young birds would be sent to slaughter, and in 2019, the total number of hens rehomed by the charity exceeded 750,000.

Kate Hazzard, Worcestershire volunteer for the BHWT, said: “We’re delighted that hen lovers in Worcestershire can now adopt some feathered friends to live out their days in their back garden.

"Not only will rehomers get the feelgood factor from knowing they’ve saved lives, but they’ll also be rewarded with a flock of funny, inquisitive, life-enriching pets to love and enjoy.

"We really hope people get behind us and help find homes for all 120 hens this Sunday.

“These hens really do deserve their retirements after spending 18 months working hard to lay eggs for the consumer and retail markets. So if you’ve got a bit of space in your back garden, some time to give and space on your plate for an egg or two you can’t go far wrong by adopting some ex-bats.”

People can register their details to rehome hens at www.bhwt.org.uk and then call Hen Central on 01884 860084 to complete the booking.