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Battery Hen Welfare Trust

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I will be posting news and updates on the Battery Hen Welfare Trust so if you want to keep up to date on rescues and my findings as the Hen Detective, also known as The Consumer Research Coordinator :wink: , this is the new place to look.


I was recently asked if we 'break in' to farms and wanted to reassure anyone who doesn't know about us that we work with the farmers consent and support. There is nothing radical about the charity, in fact a good relationship with the farmer is vital.


Jute bags are now on the website!


NEW > Jute Bag @ £5.50 (Inc. P&P)

Web address: http://www.thehenshouse.co.uk/merchandise.html


Trolley keyrings are available sold in pairs


£4.50 inc p&p



Contact Darren, tell him you're an Omleteer please!


Battery Hen Welfare Trust


c/o 1st Circuit Group

7 Mapson Court, Hadzor Hall, Droitwich, WR9 7EU, United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0)1905 799 888 - Fax: +44 (0)1905 799 088 - E-mail: info@1stCircuit.com




www.bhwt.org.uk for more details

Pictures here





If you want to donate then visit us here: http://www.thehenshouse.co.uk/donations.html





and you can subscribe to the newsletter here






The total you have raised from June 06 to Dec 06 is £654.32

You're fantastic


Thanks for your support :D



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20th May 2006 is the big rescue in Devon, I am going along with Claret, KateA and Mel :D. I have just heard that I will be going with Jane to the actual battery farm. I am pleased that I will be able to see the whole process for myself.


Remember if you want to adopt at this or any other rescues just contact a coordinator via the website www.thehenshouse.co.uk. They ask you some questions and tell you about the care required, the process takes about 15 mins.


You can still sponsor rescue hens, details also on the website.Donations are gratefully received and pay for the vehicles, fuel, crates, food, vets bills etc


If you have any suggestions for fund raising please let me know and if there's anything you want me to investigate will love to hear from you. Next product to be investigated is ice cream in the july issue and pet foods will run in octobers.


Keep checking your labels and remember check the eggs in the mayo or coleslaw when you have a pub lunch.



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Gina's ideas for fundraising, Thanks Gina :D let me know if any of you have any other ideas! BBx






Guess the Weight of:


Home Grown Vege's




Make chicken themed cards


Make an egg themed recipe book


Quiz all about poultry


Silly afternoon games - Egg & Spoon, three legged race, sack race etc


Guess the name of the Chook


Sponcered walks, bike rides, knitting, cake baking, run, she clean, chook housing cleans, silence, swim....

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Well here's the much promised post on the rescue - sorry if it's a long one!


I have loaded some photos into an album, you can see them



The 'rescuers' set out very early from Jane Howarth's farm in Devon, in a convoy of vehicles to collect the hens. In this case, i understand that these hens were in better condition than at most rescues, although one or two had to be put down at the farm.


When the convoy arrived back at the farm, we helped to unload the poultry crates from the cars and vans, so that the hens could be taken out, checked and housed in barns and pens awaiting adoption. This was a very messy job as the hens were frightened, flappy and very pooey! We had to hold them while their claws were clipped - these had grown long after about a year of standing on wire mesh, we also checked the birds over for any obvious signs of illness or disability (the poorly ones go to Jane's hospital to be cared for).


The birds are settled into barns, we had to be careful when we put them down as they weren't used to standing on a flat flor and tried to curl their toes under to grip the wire mesh they were used to standing on. Rosie's job was to help them drink, eat and to check that they were all healthy looking.


We took a break after unloading all 750 hens that came out that day (1700 to be released over 3 days), later in the day, the adopters arrivedat alloted times to adopt their hens; these lovely people ranged from smallholders taking 50 hens to families adopting 2 or three birds. All these adopters are checked by Jane to ensure that they are able to offer the right sort of care for a rescue hen.


It was an exhausting day both emotionally and physically. Thanks to Jane, Rosie gained a lot of experience for her Brownie Friend to Animals badge. I am in awe of the hard work put in by these volunteers, and the dedication they show in making sure that these poor hens have good futures.


These ex-battery hens now have a rosy future after being saved from slaughter for the pet food industry. If only more people thought about the conditions these birds are kept in before buying battery eggs, and voted with their spending power, buying free-range or organic eggs. This would mean that less farmers are forced to use this cheap form of poultry farming.


Iknow that Buffie and Mel will want to add to this post too.

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I've only got time to pop in and say a few things on the rescue here so far...So here goes :D


It was a wonderful day in Devon, I couldn't sleep and woke up about 4am having dreamt I was at the farm already! Oddly more nervous about the team and doing 'my best' than anything, would have thought 12 months ago a battery farm would make me fall apart. Mikey got me brekkie while I had a shower and I was set up for the physically demanding day!


We left our cottage for Chulmleigh at 6.30am and arrived to find Jane getting the hospital ready at 7.10am. Quick chat and hug and then into a lovely warm farm kitchen for a chat with Andy and Anne, a fantastic volunteer from Surrey and Jane's sister. An hours drive found us at the farm, small bedraggled sheds awaited plus other members of the team, most of them I knew from last year and we had more hugs. The farmer was waiting and had released the locks on the cages. I could hear and smell the hens and we ran through the plan and got the crates set up. I was a runner and that entails taking the hens from someone who is removing them from the cage and carrying them by their legs (upside down) to be packed for return to the farm. upside down they tend to be less stressd and you can move swiftly.


Soon jane was asking me if I wanted to get some out so I managed to undo the cage front and grapple with legs to find my first recue hen. It was dimly lit and and you had to peer in so close to see how many hens were in there and try to find a matching pair of legs to bring them out. Rows and rows of bobbing heads and not the usual array of noises I am used to from my girls. It stinks!


I have tiny hands and found it tough to hold 2 hens in each hand so most of the time carried one in each hand. This process started at about 8.30 and we had chance for tea about 10am and finally had all the girls out and packed by 11.05am. It stayed dry, thank goodness. It ran like clockwork and the farmer was fine 'just doing a job he had watched his father do', his wife made us tea and a local turned up to colect eggs. We have to work with the farmers and the industry to change this. The sheds are rank, we were covered in red mite but he is a good man. He did help us!


There is no monetary incentive for a farmer to change this 'legal' method of egg production, his barn eggs make no more money than battery produced ones about 50p per dozen. He will happily change when the public are willing to pay and the manufacturers ask for british free range eggs and importantly stop buying products with hidden battery hen meat and eggs in them. Not just pet food but pies, soups and baby foods.


Chickens have little rights and I believe in the principled approach of The BHWT, the commitment of the team to do rescues, in all weathers. believe me it is physically and emotionally draining. I saw sad sights but I know the system can and will change and this is the positive message.


We can all buy with care and tell family and friends. It's education that's important. Support our farmers in change and make a happy future for hens.


So that's why I am doing this and that's why I give my time. I want to change the shopping habits of the british consumer and Jane has put her trust in me to do this by being 'The Hen Detective'.


You're a great support and I have to thank Clare, Rosie and Phil, Mel and KateA, Imogen and Omlet for helping and adopting and spreading this POSITIVE message.


Thanks to everyone here who is interested. :D


Please read this and pass on the very positive message that just a simple change of brand or refusal to put mayo on your chips in the pub is showing support and changing the face of egg production for the future.


Here's to Happy hens!


Love BB xxxx

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Nice one Buff.


I can echo the small hands thing - I found it difficult to hold those big hens, keep their wings down, grab their legs and hold them upside down - my hands just aren't big enough! Much easier with banties :D


I am sure that the stink at the battery farm was bad - it was ghastly enough as we unpacked the crates - the hens were all hot, stressed and pooing like mad! Our hens smell so sweet in comparison.

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Thanks for that account Buffie, and yours too Clare & Mel, it sounds like a difficult but ultimately rewarding experience. Imogen & I weren't able to participate as much as we would have liked, but even the little that we experienced had a real impact. And I can imagine the smell. My 3 girls are quite smelly still, I'm a great one for hugging hens and ruffling feathers, but the rescue girls are a bit smelly for prolonged hugs. As soon as the weather's improved enough for near naked birds to dry off in warm sunshine (too much flesh exposed for hairdriers to be comfortable) my 3 are going to experience their first bath :D

:oops::oops: just realised this is a quick catch up at work & I'm not logged in, sorry.


Kate A

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Thanks Buffie my T-shirt arrived but it is massive they sent me an extra large i have returned it asking for a Medium and popped some money in to cover postage..................... :D They are very well made and lovely and soft shame it was a bit too big .

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Most fleeces etc seem to have arrived today, hope everyone will wear with pride :D quote]

Yes, thanks, Buffie. Mine arrived & fits, I'm really pleased. I'm looking forward to telling more people about BHWT when they notice it, they're bound to ask. :D

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I wore my t-shirt to the Wimborne folk festival. A lot of stall holders said "wow, what a worthy cause" and "hey, cool shirt". Mind you a lot of them were also away with the pixies if you get my drift...........


Were you also paying them a visit Mel :wink::lol::lol::lol:



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Good work, Buffie! :) I always get teary-eyed when I read animal rescue stories, even though I'm not what I'd call sentimental about animals normally :oops:


We've been buying more and more free-range chicken in the last year or so, especially for Sunday roasts - the flavour is ten times better and the drumsticks are enormous! However your site has encouraged me to think about all the poultry products we buy - and who knows, one day we may be able to adopt a battery hen as well!

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