Here at the Miniature Pony Centre, we have added to our poultry collection by rehoming 6 gorgeous ladies from the British Hen Welfare Trust. The BHWT are a registered charity and save around 50 000 hens per year from slaughter; finding them loving homes where they can enjoy a long and happy retirement. The BHWT also educate consumers, and work with schools to educate our young people about the egg industry.
The build up – I work at the Miniature Pony Centre, and came up with the idea of rehoming some hens. I excitedly prepared a palace within our walk through aviary, so that the hens could be part of the family, but have their own space to begin with. On rehoming day, I travelled to Liskeard in Cornwall with pet carriers at the ready to collect our lovely ladies.
The journey home – having transported several feathery friends, I know that they are always noisy when travelling; so the silence from the crates on the backseat quite surprised me. At each set of traffic lights, I turned to see beady eyes looking at me, clearly wondering what on earth was going on!
Arriving on Dartmoor
I transferred the girls into their new home, and watched them taking in their new surroundings. However, I think it was our Peahen and Polish cockerel that looked more confused! The girls hungrily tucked into a bowl of layers mash, and explored a deep straw bed, wondering if this was all a dream . . .
3 weeks on . . . we are being gifted with an abundance of eggs, our Polish cockerel has been well and truly put in his place after daring to peck one of the girls (he looked very shocked when she flapped and squawked at him), and the hens follow the staff everywhere when doing morning set up in the walk through aviary. The girls have been a hit with the public, and are true ambassadors for the charity as I tell their story, and give out details about the BHWT to people also wanting to rehome. The question that I always get asked is “are they all this friendly?”
To find out more information, please go to http://www.bhwt.org.uk/ or find British Hen Welfare Trust on Facebook.
Written by Galina Greenwood.