A CO-ordinator is needed in the county to help re-home former battery hens.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) re-homed 59,000 hens last year alone and urgently needs a volunteer to help re-home hens in Hereford.

The charity’s hens, affectionately known as ‘ex-bats’ (a nod to the old battery cages), are 18-months-old and due for the slaughterhouse because their peak egg laying days are behind them.

However, the charity said the hens still have plenty of life and (usually) eggs to give.

More than 9,000 people re-home hens via the BHWT every year from one of the charity’s 37 collection points.

Becky Bridges from Belmont has three hens, which she adopted in Monmouth.

She said: “When collecting our first group of girls the BHWT volunteer handing them over told my husband we wouldn't regret it. She was right.

"They are a huge part of our life. You don't think of a chicken having personality, but every one is different. They are cheeky, inquisitive and always on the lookout for food.”

The hens need a good, balanced diet to keep them healthy - according to Defra rules it is illegal to feed chickens kitchen scraps, unless you live in a vegan household.

Naomi Vakatalai from Mordiford has picked up hens from the BHWT four times and said her favourite thing about her hens was their personalities.

She said: “We have had one hen who decided to climb a tilted tree one evening and get herself stuck to the point where we needed a ladder to get her down.

"She persisted to do the same thing each evening for just over a week. I had to go out each evening and stop her climbing up.”

Naomi adopted her hens from the BHWT’s Hereford re-homing point but the charity’s co-ordinator has now moved, meaning there is an urgent need for someone to help continue re-homing in the area.

The charity is appealing for someone to host a Hereford re-homing point: the hens need somewhere secure for about 3 to 4 hours so they can have some rest, food and a drink whilst they wait to be adopted, a parking area, and a water supply for washing crates after the re-homing. Volunteers clear up after the hens so the site is left just as clean as the way it was found.

If you or someone you know is able to provide a re-homing point for the charity in Hereford, Leominster or Hay-on-Wye areas call 01884 860084 or email info@bhwt.co.uk.