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Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 16:23 UK
Ex-battery hens are adopted as pets in Manchester
The Trust saves 60,000 hens per year

Thousands of former battery hens across the region are being given new lives, thanks to a North West charity.

All the birds, which were previously kept in cramped conditions, have been found "caring homes" by the British Hen Welfare Trust.

The Trust takes the hens at the end of their egg laying life, saving 60,000 animals a year from slaughter.

The birds are then adopted by new owners who keep them as pets in their homes, gardens and allotments.

Helen and Jean Warburton took in 13 former battery hens from the Trust and now look after them at an allotment in Salford.

Helen said their aim was to give the birds a better quality of life.

When they first come they're quite pale really and they don't have a lot of feathers
Helen Warburton, hen owner

"When they first come they're quite pale really, they don't have a lot of feathers," she explained.

"They don't tend to walk as much because they've never been out or seen the sky or different kinds of weather.

"But after about 24 hours, getting used to being out in the open, they do pick up and become normal."

Helen added: "With ex-battery hens you do have to spend a bit of time with them rehabilitating them, making sure they can take care of themselves so they're used to people being around."

"So you do get to see more of their personality than hens that you could go out and buy. But they do make lovely pets."



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