A Hen is for Life, not just Easter!

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A Hen is for Life, not just Easter!

5th April 17

"Oh the British Hen Welfare Trust, yes marvellous work they do and all started by Jane Howorth, she has an MBE now you know."

It all trots off the tongue quite easily, pleasant enough conversation, suitably complimentary and supportive of a worthwhile charitable cause.  I've done it myself.  The BHWT was established to educate the public about the welfare of laying hens and the rehoming of ex battery hens has been one of their primary initiatives.  But these things are much easier to discuss when we are only looking at the surface; until you have actually rehomed one of these fragile creatures, you cannot begin to appreciate what a truly remarkable achievement it is to have been responsible for the rehoming of over half a million birds.  That is a lot of invisible lives saved, completely turned around.  I honestly don't think I have seen many things quite so pitiful as an ex battery hen and the first night I took mine home I was so affected I hardly slept. 

There are many people willing to take these hens and they need to be booked.  When I got to the front of the queue on my collection day there was a notice on the table with a photo.  "Could you take one that needs more TLC?"  All of the hens are only partially feathered, but lower ranking hens are more "hen-pecked", and many are injured in the fight to survive the ordeal that is their existence.  I took two of those needing more TLC and two that were "straightforward" but one of my straightforward girls was by far the one needing the most TLC.  She had almost no feathers at all and had obviously been mercilessly bullied.  She seemed to have lost the will to live and I wondered if she would survive the week.  She did survive, and she is still thriving, but one of my TLC girls died.  But she died peacefully and she had felt grass beneath her little feet and she had pecked corn and enjoyed the sun on her back, and she had been free...

There is no doubt about it, absolutely splendid work by the BHWT but it is consumers, yes THAT"S YOU, who are driving intensive farming methods.  Choose responsibly.