The British Hen Welfare Trust was founded in 2005 with the aim of re-homing ex-commercial hens as pets. Since then the charity has re-homed more than 560,000 hens, all of whom have gone on to live out their free range retirements as much-loved pets in people's back gardens. The majority of these hens had lived in cages their entire lives and were due for slaughter. They had never stood on soft grass, seen sunshine or scratched for bugs and slugs but, thanks to the charity's work, went on to experience freedom and love outside of the caged egg system.
Alongside this the charity has been keen to educate consumers who perhaps do not keep hens as to how they can influence hen welfare through their shopping baskets. The free range sector has grown from 32% of the egg market in 2014 to 50% in 2016 partly thanks to the work of the BHWT. The charity's expansion has seen it gain planning permission to build the UK's first dedicated hen welfare and education centre as well as develop an education programme soon to be rolled out nationwide.