After a mere year of laying eggs, many hens on commercial farms become McNuggets. What if it didn’t have to be that way?
According to Modern Farmer, Jane Howorth founded the British Hen Welfare Trust to keep chickens in the U.K. out of the proverbial pot and in someone’s backyard instead (a robust screening process weeds out the BBQ-minded). In nine years, the Trust has adopted out more than 400,000 hens. Stateside, similar nonprofit Forget Me Not Farms has a waiting list of 300.
While the hens aren’t at peak egg-producing capacity, many still lay eggs regularly. One happy adopter had to step up her baking and describes her two hens, Maisy and Flora, as “very cheeky girls, very affectionate, and friendly.”
What else can you do with a chicken in retirement? Here are a few ideas, via the ever-amazing internet:
8. Hug it.
7. Give it a ride on the back of your turtle.
6. Build it its own amusement park.
5. Make it into a meme.
4. Wiggle it to learn about science.
3. Dress it up, obvs.
2. Autotune its squawks and turn them into a techno dance groove.
1. Just observe its magnificent splendor.
How to Recycle a Hen, Modern Farmer.