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Anyone fancy some hens?
CARING owners are being invited to take on hens to save them from slaughter.
Ringwood charity worker Celia Marker is issuing the appeal.
She said: “I am co-ordinating the rehoming for the New Forest area on behalf of Hen Rescue and if we can line up homes I’ll be organising their transport to Ringwood and the surrounding areas.
“They are smaller hens bred for laying and when they reach 80 weeks they are slaughtered as they’re not so commercially viable.”
Miss Marker heard about the project four years ago and this is her fifth rescue campaign.
She said: “When I heard thousands of young hens would go to slaughter I wanted to help.
“I knew nothing about keeping hens so mine was a steep learning curve – I don’t keep hens myself but have learned a lot in doing rescue work.
“Over the last four years, with the support of local people, I’ve homed around 2,000 hens. Those who had them are still in touch – and some of the people from previous rescues are taking more hens this time. ”
She added: “We recommend that they go in groups of at least five if they are going to mix with existing hens.
“Hens can be quite vicious and putting a few in with a lot of strange hens can cause violent confrontation. It is best to put new hens in together at night – the idea being they wake up and find more hens, but don’t really notice.”
Hens need a safe run and hen-house, protected from foxes and predators.
The rescued hens are of Rhode Island Red stock, like Morans, and they are bred for egg-laying so are small and eat less than those bred to eat.
Hen Rescue collects them from a farm in Sussex, where they are free-range and organically reared. They cost £1 each and part of that money goes to the farmer and part towards transport costs for the charity.
If you are interested in takong on a few hens contact Miss Marker on 01425 472672 or email email@example.com .
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