A recent study has confirmed that chickens are still the sixth most popular pet in the UK.

The Pet Food Manufacturer's Association's Pet Data Report 2017 stated that around 600,000 people now keep domestic fowl.

Owners rated them above guinea pigs, hamsters and lizards, which is welcome news to the British Hen Welfare Trust.

Since 2005 the charity has re-homed more than 560,000 ex-battery hens who have gone on to become much-loved family pets.

These birds will have spent around 17 months in cages and are destined for slaughter, before the charity steps in and gives them an alternative fate in the form of a free-range retirement.

Jane Howorth MBE, charity founder, said: “I’m not surprised that chickens are moving up the ranking of most popular pets in the UK, here at the charity we all know what wonderful pets our ex-commercial hens in particular make.

"Each has their own personality and charm, they are quite simply life-enhancing, and what other pet will lay eggs for your breakfast.

“Best of all you don’t have to choose between owning a cat, dog and a chicken. Hens will live in perfect harmony with the rest of your furry friends.”

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For more information please visit bhwt.org.uk.