Pictured: Ben Braithwaite.
If you stood all the chickens that could, conservatively, need rehoming in 2021, the queue of chickens would stretch from John O’Groats to Lands’ End and back to the rehoming charity British Hen Welfare Trust’s main centre in Devon, a study reveals.
ChickenGuard, the UK’s leading manufacturer and distributor of chicken coop doors worldwide, and a leading voice in chicken keeping as pets across the UK, used a combination of reports from chicken rehoming charities and figures from egg manufacturing to identify the true extent of the problem.
Chickens bred into a commercial environment constantly need rehoming when their working lives come to an end.
Charities such as the British Hen Welfare Trust work to provide rehoming for working hens and to offer them a loving new home with chicken lovers across the UK.
Worryingly, with 30 million working hens in the UK and a conservative 10% requiring rehoming every year, finding homes for 3m chickens is quite challenging for charities.
To put this into focus, the chicken fanatic team at ChickenGuard has plotted a visual representation to show the impact in the UK.
With recent news from the coop door manufacturer’s pet survey, 2020 saw chicken pet owners increased to over 1.4 million in the UK.
Chickens make wonderful pets for the whole family, are great to educate children and will live happy and healthy lives for years once rescued.
If every chicken pet owner rescued just two chickens, it would reduce the rehoming crisis and the slaughter that follows for hens unable to be rehomed.
Ben Braithwaite, founder and inventor of ChickenGuard explains why rehoming is essential:
“After having been gifted chickens by my mother, we have had the first-hand experience of the joy our feathered friends can bring to our family and us.
“Since the pandemic began, another half a million or more families are now experiencing the same joy.
“Working chickens who are retiring deserve just as much love and respect, and it is pretty straightforward to get involved.
“Working chickens may not look quite like your typical, lovely pet chickens at first, but after some love and attention, they soon gain weight, have feathers return and will be one of your coop favourites in no time.
“When you consider that if you lined these chickens – beak to tail – they would stretch nearly 200 miles, it shows why rescuing chickens to keep as pets is so vitally important.”
Rehoming charities operate all over the UK, and Facebook groups provide contact details and information on how to get involved.
A non-exhaustive list of rehoming charities is now on the company’s website.
If every new chicken keeper were to rescue two chickens to keep with their existing family chickens, the rehoming charities would be less overwhelmed and dramatically fewer adorable hens will be sent to slaughter.
ChickenGuard provides regular updates and vital information for new chicken keepers on what chickens can eat, what space they need, what to include in a coop and much more so that families can enjoy their feathered friends.