Wigan animal rescuers prepare to rescue lucky hen number 25,000

Gladys gets to know one of the lucky hens
Gladys gets to know one of the lucky hens

A Wigan-based animal rescue group are preparing to rescue their 25,000th battery hen tomorrow.

Lucky Hens, who are based in Hindley, Wigan and who also have a branch in Chester, was established in 2010 and help to rescue and rehome ex-battery hens.

And this Saturday will see the volunteer-led non-profit community interest company, rescue another 450 hens from slaughter and amongst them will be hen number 25,000.

Alison Thorpe, founder of Lucky Hens, said: “Battery hens spend their lives in very small cages laying eggs that can be bought in supermarkets. The girls are usually sent for slaughter at around 18 months old and it’s Lucky Hens’ aim to rescue as many tatty batties as we can.”

The next rescue day will be a special one for Alison as she rescues hen number 25,000.

She said: “Eight years ago, there wasn’t a rescue in the Wigan area who could help hens being sent to slaughter so I decided I would do what I could.

It’s crazy to think we have rescued and rehomed 25,000 battery hens but it’s so fulfilling seeing them feel grass and see the sky for the first time.”

Hen number 25,000 will be named Gladys after one of the residents at Elmridge Court Care Home in Lowton, after the group visited recently with some of the ex-battery hens that live at Lucky Hens.

Saturday will also see the grand opening of a new 48ft by 12ft bespoke wooden shelter, which will hold the 450 hens that will be rescued this weekend.

The new shelter comes following a £13k grant which was awarded by grant giving charity Support Adoption for Pets, a national charity that supports hundreds of pet rehoming organisations across the UK.

Lucky Hens keep any poorly hens that are rescued and nurses them back to health before finding them forever homes. And it’s not just hens who the group have helped; horses, sheep, pigs and turkeys have all benefited from the dedication of the volunteers and the support of the people of Wigan and further afield.

The next rehoming day is tomorrow, December 15, and if anyone would like to reserve their own tatty batties, simply fill in the booking form on the Lucky Hens website. There is a minimum donation of £4 per hen to cover costs. All hens who are rescued are bought from the farmer and are brought to Lucky Hens and can be collected from either Wigan or Chester.

Lucky Hens puts the welfare of the ex-battery hens first and encourages people to think about where their food comes from and to make compassionate choices in the supermarket.