One clucky, lucky hen has set a world record for the charity the British Hen Welfare Trust.

‘Dee’, so-called because ‘D’ represents 500 in Roman numerals, became the half a millionth hen to be saved from slaughter and re-homed as a family pet by the popular national charity, which was launched in 2005.

The bird, from a commercial egg farm in the West Midlands, was adopted by the Elliott family from Rugby, who will now ensure that she is given a suitably egg-ceptional free range retirement as a result of her record-breaking status.

Julie Elliott, who has a five-year-old daughter Rosie, said: “It is like something out of one of Rosie’s storybooks and I can’t believe this is happening to us! Thank you to the British Hen Welfare Trust from the bottom of our hearts…. she is beautiful and such a sweet girl, we had completely fallen in love with her long before we even got her home.”

The charity was founded by Jane Howorth who wanted to raise the profile of laying hens that were kept in battery cages, whilst encouraging support for the British egg industry. Her pioneering vision to win over the hearts and minds of the public through the adoption scheme recently led to the 55 year old receiving an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Jane told us: “I have championed the battery hen since I was 17, they are the under-valued underdogs of the domesticated animal world in my view.

“We have just reached another milestone in re-homing our half a millionth hen, Dee! I’m incredibly grateful to all the people that have helped to make it happen, especially our wonderful volunteers and of course the charity’s supporters who have adopted our gorgeous feathered friends over the years. The concept of hens as pets is now firmly on the map.”

The British Hen Welfare Trust not only re-homes hens at the end of their commercial life, but educates the public about laying hen welfare. The charity has also been instrumental in influencing food manufacturers.

Patron Jamie Oliver said: “The British Hen Welfare Trust has always supported the British egg industry whilst carrying out their work. I like their positive campaign style and introducing kids to the joys of hen keeping provides a valuable lesson in where our food comes from. Good on ‘em and congratulations!”

To find out more about re-homing hens or to support the work of the British Hen Welfare Trust please email log on to or tel: 01884 860084

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