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Retired hens need to find new homes

09:37 19 March 2013

The Little Hen Rescue centre in Flordon is run by Jo Eglen and takes in battery hens

The Little Hen Rescue centre in Flordon is run by Jo Eglen and takes in battery hens

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Over a thousand hens, retired from their working life, need a new home this Easter.

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Little Hen Rescue, the not-for-profit organisation behind the rescue, will pluck over a thousand hens from their cages at the end of the month.

Desperate to find them new homes, founder Jo Egert is appealing for help to rehouse the retired girls.

Most battery and enriched barn eggs are sent to the slaughter once their short life as a laying hen is over, but Little Hen Rescue has joined forces with farmers to offer the hens a chance at a new life after retirement.

The small organisation collects hens from barns regularly, but at 1,300 birds, this is the largest this year, and the overwhelming number means homes need to be found as quickly as possible.

Ms Egert, 33, of Newton Flotman, says the former laying hens will make wonderful pets, and added: “After a few weeks they will be following their owners around the garden, they seem to be more friendly than other hens.

“If you have chickens already, add a couple more,” pleaded the mum of two boys, Bobby, seven and Jay, 10.

“We need owners that want pets, as they can become loving animals after a few weeks of recovery.”

Most hens will often arrive shell-shocked and scared following their life in captivity, but gradually will start to thrive in their new found freedom.

A teaching assistant at a special needs school, Ms Egert says Little Hen Rescue has become more than simply a way to save the animals, and often brings the young people to learn new skills and help out.

“The children love it, especially the 16 to 19 year-olds with severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. They can do real work in a safe environment.”

Little Hen Rescue needs caring homes for the hens as soon as possible, and will check most homes for suitability.

If you think you could provide a suitable home email: littlehenrescue@aol.com or call the re-homing line on: 07717757596.

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