Hard-done-by hens are looking for a new life in Lewis, with a chicken re-homing charity planning a flying delivery on Tuesday December 11th.

]Wing and a Prayer Hen Rescue (WAAP) is a national charity that which has been successfully rescuing hens since 2014. They negotiate with commercial farms to buy hens when they end their ‘working lives’ and allow them to be rehomed as family pets.

The charity has just arranged to pick up 915 white caged birds and will take them on a delivery run between December 8th and 11th. Their last drop-off point is in Flesherin, Point, where pre-adopted hens will be handed over to new owners and start a new life.

The charity says: “Commercial egg-laying hens arrive at the farm at four months of age or 'point of lay' and are sent for slaughter at 18 months, when their egg production drops off a little. Commercial farms, whether caged (battery), barn or free range, ‘depopulate’ their farms at this point and this is where we come in.

“We can only collect hens which have been reserved in advance as we do not have facilities to hold hens between rescues. We suggest a donation of £3.50 per hen to cover costs such as purchase, veterinary treatment, feed and advertising. All surplus funds are invested back into the charity in order to continue our work.”

Island volunteers have already brought collections of hens to Lewis for re-homing and their latest run will be in December. If you’d like to offer a home to a wee flock of retired hens, go to www.wingandaprayerhenrescue.scot/rehome and reserve yourself a new flock.