PLANS to build a new haven for rescued hens near Kidderminster rely on a local animal sanctuary raising £35,000 in donations.

Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries hopes to develop a new dedicated rescue house at its facility in Milson to help more hens saved from the egg-laying industry.

Claire Woolley, from Goodheart, said: "Laying hens are often kept in cramped conditions without the space or freedom to behave as they would naturally. This means they can’t preen their feathers, dust bathe, or scratch for food in the soil.

Ledbury Reporter: The new Goodheart Home for Rescued Hens will house 160 rescue hens at one timeThe new Goodheart Home for Rescued Hens will house 160 rescue hens at one time

"The team at Goodheart believe that every sentient creature should live free from harm and exploitation, so they’re taking action to change the lives of laying hens."

The sanctuary currently has the capacity to care for around 20 hens at one time, most of which have spent their lives living in cramped cages with no access to the outdoors.

Once built, the new hen house will provide ample space and access to the outdoors with native plants and enrichment, as well as a safe and cosy coop for up to 160 feathery residents.

Ledbury Reporter: Liz the rescue hen was in poor health when Goodheart took her inLiz the rescue hen was in poor health when Goodheart took her in

As part of its appeal to raise £35,000 to make the project a reality, Goodheart has launched a new range of nine colourful gift cards which can be given as presents, while also helping to support hens in need.

The cards range from a £10 voucher to give a hen a shelter or plant a Buddleija bush - to a £50 "love birds" card to feed two hens for a year.

Claire said: "These gift cards are part of the charity’s fundraising activities to build a new home for the lucky few hens who can be rescued from the egg laying industry.

"The new facility will be home to 160 rescued hens at any one time. Over the years, this means that hundreds or even thousands will get a second chance at a life worth living.

Ledbury Reporter: The new Goodheart hen giftcardsThe new Goodheart hen giftcards

"These colourful cards offer a fun way of doing good while helping to keep our family and friends smiling.

"Every penny raised will be used to care for rescued hens and to enable Goodheart to rescue more hens facing slaughter."

For more information or to order a gift card online, go to goodheart-animal-sanctuaries.myshopify.com/collections/our-hen-house-appeal.