Learn all about out our dedicated area for hens and cockerels, here at Goodheart Farm Animal Sanctuary in Worcestershire.
Our Goodheart Home for Rescued Hens is the perfect place for rescued birds to live their lives in the most natural way possible.
Spread across one acre, the site allows us to comfortably accommodate 160 hens at any one time, with plenty of space for them to roam freely. It comprises four areas, each of which has round-the-clock access to both a cosy coop and a predator-safe outdoor area.
Up until 2021, we only had the capacity to care for around 13 rescued hens at any one time. While we are proud to offer these hens a safe haven, we know there are many more out there who desperately need our help, and so in 2020 we began fundraising to build a brand-new Hen Area here at the sanctuary, in order to continue our important work.
During the day, the hens can enjoy a large grassland area complete with bushes and shrubs, plenty of interesting perching spaces, and ample space to exercise, scratch, and peck. This means they can follow their natural instincts to enjoy dust baths and forage for food, which is incredibly beneficial for their mental wellbeing.
Our strong focus on vegetation and planting also has benefits for the wider ecosystem of the sanctuary. New shrubs and bushes will provide habitats for more insects, as well as important enrichment for the hens.
At the end of each day, our feathered flock are brought inside to a spacious aviary, complete with enrichment items such as mirrors, swings and even xylophones to keep their brains busy.
When night falls, the hens can take themselves off to bed in their very own cosy coop, which contains individual nesting spots lined with straw.
With Avian Flu lockdowns becoming more common, these covered areas allow our hens plenty of space to spread their wings while any mandatory housing measures are in place.
Watch the heartwarmimg moment our rescued chicken flock explore their new home for the very first time…
Most of our hens have been rescued from the egg industry where they lived lives of suffering in cramped cages with no access to the outdoors. We think this is wrong, and believe that all animals deserve our respect and compassion. When they first arrive, many of the hens have severe feather loss, parasites such as mites and lice, and issues with their joints from being kept in cramped conditions. Sadly, these symptoms are common in ex-industry laying hens.
All of our animals receive excellent individual care which soon sees them back on their feet. We find it incredibly rewarding to see hens begin to recover physically and to start showing their own unique personalities. Often in a matter of weeks, we see new feather growth, strong social bonds forming, and a return to important natural behaviours. Hens are naturally very sociable and inquisitive creatures, so we make sure to give them everything they need to live interesting and varied lives in the safety of the sanctuary.
Liz came to us in a sorry state after living in a cage laying eggs for her whole life. She arrived very thin and frail with not many feathers.
After a lot of TLC from our sanctuary team, and space to roam in freedom and safety, Liz transformed into a happy healthy hen here at Goodheart.
The completion of our Goodheart Home for Rescued Hens would not have been possible without the help of our valued supporters and we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity, not just on this project, but all of our ventures.
Many of the hens at Goodheart were rescued by the British Hen Welfare Trust, a fantastic organisation which rescues ‘spent’ laying hens. These hens spend their entire lives laying eggs for people to eat, then face slaughter when they are no longer useful to farmers.
The BHWT rescues hens directly from slaughter and then rehomes them with kind people who want to care for them. If you’re interested in opening your heart and home to hens in need, follow the link below to find a rehoming day near you.
Although we have now raised the funds in order to build our Goodheart Home for Rescued Hens, we are always in need of donations to continue the running of our sanctuary, covering things like feed, vet bills, and repairs. If you’d like to help out, there are a number of great ways to support us:
For just £30 – you can adopt Dorothy the chicken and help support the care of her and her friends at the sanctuary. What’s more, you’ll also receive a fabulous adoption box crammed full of goodies including an official adoption certificate, plant-based recipe card, stickers, pen and more!
As part of our fundraising for this project, we have launched a brand-new range of colourful gift cards, which not only let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them, but also help support the upkeep of our happy home for hens.