MORE than 100 battery hens have been saved from the slaughterhouse by East Lancashire’s animal lovers.

The birds were destined to become dog food and soup before they were found new homes by the region’s branch of the British Hen Welfare Trust.


Adele Hall, Lancashire co-ordinator for the charity, which has famous names including Jamie Oliver, Antony Worrall Thompson and Edenfield’s Coronation Street star Antony Cotton as patrons, said almost 100 chickens had been rehomed at the latest event at her Haslingden farm.

The charity worker, who invites people to her farm to consider rehoming chickens, said: “These birds would have gone straight to slaughter if they were not rehomed.

“They would have ended up in pet food, as chicken wings or in soup, but they actually make fantastic pets. All you need is a little bit of land to have the advantage of fresh eggs every morning.”

Adele said people often overlooked the benefits of keeping hens at home once their laying productivity had dropped and they were no longer suitable for the mass market.

She added: “The hens have great lives when they come out of farms and it is fantastic to wave them off to new homes.

“People like the fact that they have rescued something and saved it from slaughter, even though these chickens have not come from horrible conditions.

“They say they never knew hens could be so intelligent and such fantastic pets.”

Adele said it was not necessary to have a large piece of land to rehome a chicken, as long as volunteers had a safe, fox-free place to keep them.

“They are not high-maintenance and there is loads of information on our website to help,” she said. Adele added: “We also have a lot of allotment keepers in East Lancashire catching on because the birds clear up all the bugs on the patch.”

“I would encourage anybody interested in rehoming a hen to first of all go to our website to make sure it is for you and if you want to proceed, phone the booking line.”

Antony Wiggans took home some chickens for his allotment. He said: “I come and rescue chickens because it is a very good cause and the eggs produced go to Maundy Kitchen in Accrington and also to a food bank who we give fresh vegetables too as well.”

“This will go to the local community in Hyndburn.”

The next rehoming event is expected in April.

For details, visit: said he donated eggs the hens laid to food banks.