THE British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) is hoping to send hundreds of happy hens leaping in to a free-range retirement in Kidderminster.

The charity is hosting a hen collection at Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries in Milson, on Saturday February 22, where people can adopt their very own flock of ex-battery hens and let them live out their days in the bottom of the garden.

The BHWT rehomes laying hens once they reach 18 months old and are no longer deemed commercially viable. The charity collects the hens from farms and works with a network of volunteers to find suitable retirement homes for thousands of hens who would otherwise be destined for slaughter.

Jane Howorth MBE, Founder of the BHWT, said: “When I started this charity, it was all about hens and improving their lives and overall welfare standards. And whilst hen welfare is still at the heart of all that we do, over time we’ve started to see the real difference that hens are making to people’s lives too. There’s something so special about these birds, and more and more we’re gathering evidence about how they are helping to improve people’s mental health, giving people more confidence and helping people learn and develop new skills.

"These hens really are remarkable little animals and I would urge anyone who can to give keeping hens a try. The ex-commercial hens we rehome are particularly sweet and friendly, so we hope the people of Worcestershire will give these girls a leap year to remember by offering them the chance to enjoy a free-range retirement.”

People can register there details to rehome a hen via and then call Hen Central on 01884 860084.