British Hen Welfare Trust

The cost-of-living crisis shouldn’t cost a life.

Who are the British Hen Welfare Trust?

Since 2005, the British Hen Welfare Trust has been committed to changing the lives of commercial egg-laying hens.

With most of the nation consuming eggs or egg-based products, the BHWT campaigns for egg-laying, farmed hens to have the opportunity of a long, happy life after their commercial egg-laying days are done. While the cause saves thousands of these feathery creatures from slaughter every year by finding them loving pet homes, its objective does not stop there. The BHWT’s advocacy for an entirely free-range egg market, and its efforts to educate vets and owners on hen health really does make the charity a champion for our chickens.

What does the BHWT do?

Like many causes, the BHWT has a multi-faceted approach to improving the lives of hens in the UK. Whilst rehoming chickens saved from slaughter is a core goal behind the charity, improving and educating about hen health, and changing the future of the free-range egg market are also high on its agenda when it comes to bettering hens’ lives.

The cause begins with saving commercial egg-laying hens from slaughter and rehoming them as pets in new loving families. Farmers send their hens to slaughter at around 18 months of age at which point egg production slows. Due to the demand for eggs, this hiatus is not cost-effective and farmers will send the hens to slaughter and replace them with younger egg-laying hens, known as pullets.

Knowing these hens have many more years of life left in them, the BHWT saves these hens from slaughter and works to rehome them with anyone who can give them a chance of living a free and happy life. The charity has rehomed hens in schools, universities and even prisons.

Beyond the rehoming, the BHWT also offers guidance and education in hen health, providing free courses for vets and owners to ensure these lovely birds can live happily and healthily once rehomed.

The charity’s advocacy of hens also includes its drive to change the egg market in the UK. Currently, only 63.7% of eggs consumed in the UK are free range, whilst 35.55% are caged and 1.75% barn. The BHWT is educating and encouraging people to buy the highest welfare eggs they can afford so that in future 100% of eggs sold are free-range.

What challenges does the BHWT face?

With Avian Flu currently gripping the UK, rehoming hens has proven more difficult. Due to the outbreak, all rehoming has had to temporarily cease, meaning more hens than ever lose the chance of a home and the cause is estimating around a £200,000 loss.

Not only is the loss of homes for hens a serious concern due to avian flu, but the loss in funds also has a domino-effect on the other initiatives the cause runs. Funding is desperately needed to keep its ongoing hen-education running, as well as keep the cause (and the all-important hens) alive.

Alongside this epidemic, the Covid-19 outbreak plus the current cost-of-living crisis has also hit fundraising efforts hard. With many people struggling to donate at such a costly time, the BHWT is standing by its testament that the cost-of-living crisis should not cost a life, and the charity continues to advocate for the lives of hens providing us with our eggs.

Where do donations go?

The cause runs many impressive initiatives which are kept afloat with donations.

The practical element of rehoming hens requires donations to keep vans and volunteers on the road, ensuring these chickens are rescued from slaughter and placed in new pet homes. Some donations go towards vet bills, as some chickens may come to the cause unwell or injured and must be treated before they are able to go to their new home.

In addition, the BHWT’s free online poultry course and veterinary guides also add to costs, but ultimately mean hens are able to receive proper care once they are rehomed. The cause also runs a Hen Helpline which gives step-by-step guidance to those worried about their hens’ welfare, which they estimate costs around £2000 per month.

All donations are funnelled into providing a healthy and happy life for these hens, all the way from their pick-up right through their life as pets with their new owners.

How easyfundraising can help the BHWT

By choosing the BHWT as your cause, you are helping rehome and improve the quality of life for egg-laying hens in the UK.

To support these lovely birds, simply choose the British Hen Welfare Trust as your cause when shopping through the easyfundraising app or website and see how your normal shop can accumulate incredible donations with no extra cost to you. By also choosing to enable the donation reminder, you won’t miss an opportunity to donate while doing your normal online shop.