HUNDREDS of hard-working hens are hoping to enjoy their first Christmas outside of a cage if enough people come forward to save them from slaughter.
The British Hen Welfare Trust is appealing to the Rotherham public to come forward and offer up their back gardens to a small flock of ex-battery hens so that they can enjoy Christmas as part of a loving family, rather than the alternative.
There are 400 hens hoping to avoid the slaughter lorry, and they'll be re-homed in Rotherham tomorrow (Saturday).
So far 120 lucky hens have homes to go to, but the remaining 280 are hoping their turn will come before the deadline.
A spokesman from the BHWT said: “Alhough it may be wet and miserable outside, these hens would love nothing more than to experience crisp fresh air and dewy grass under their feet for the first time, so don't let the weather put you off re-homing.
“Of course they would also appreciate a few presents under the tree in the form of some chicken treats, and will undoubtedly return the gift in form of a delicious egg, or two.
“The hens are 18 months old and due to being sent to slaughter because their egg-laying may have slowed down or become somewhat irregular.
“However, these friendly little hens will often carry on popping out eggs for you to enjoy for breakfast, or perhaps for a glass of eggnog on Christmas morning.”
Louise Addy, Rotherham co-ordinator for the BHWT, said: “Christmas is a feel-good time of year, and nothing is more rewarding than knowing you've saved lives by re-homing these hens.
“They’re the most wonderful pets, and I’d urge anyone considering adopting some ex-bats to simply do it and make more Christmas wishes come true.”
To offfer to rehome some hens, register your details at www.bhwt.org.uk and then call 01884 860084 to speak to the charity’s re-homing team.