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Wood Green, The Animals Charity

handy giff-staffer tom
handy giff-staffer

As I said in my last blogs, one of giffgaff’s core values it about doing the collective good and doing the right thing.  This led us to have an idea about, Unlock a phone, Unlock a chicken.


We have teamed up with Wood Green, The Animals Charity who take in Battery Chickens, rehabilitate them and pass them on to homes from nice members of the public.


Wood Green, The Animals Charity, first opened in 1924 in north London by Miss Louisa Snow, who was concerned at the large number of abandoned and injured animals on the streets of London following the First World War.


A few weeks back, I took a trip to see Wood Green, who have been re-homing battery chickens since 2008. They are completely funded by donations from the public and when you’re looking after 5,500 types of animals in three locations, you can imagine the hard work Wood Green do.


After a drive to Cambridgeshire and some introductions we went to see, Thelma and Louise, two old girls, rehabilitated after time spent in a Battery Farm.  Thelma and Louise, now act as Mother Hen’s to newbie chickens, who are seeing the outside world for the first time. 


We then moved onto the main chicken area where they rehabilitate battery hens. As we talked, the passion from the Wood Green was inspiring.  They told us some stories - battery hens regularly have around an A4 page size to live in, they are often so cramped, they can’t turn around and never really see daylight.  Many of them, once freed, hide back in their coops as that is all they know, restricted spaces.  Even more shocking is that often they have only eaten soft textured food (a bit like baby food) and have no idea what hard feed is or the ability to snuffle up a bug or two, from the ground, when they are peckish.  Luckily, if needed, Thelma and Louise are on point to teach the way of the world.  Seeing some of the birds, 2/3 days after being sent to Wood Green, really brings home the conditions they live in. 


The amazing thing is that within a few weeks to a month or so, these tenacious birds are back up, healthy and happy, quite an achievement.  Once they are in this situation they are re-homed by members of the public who have space in the garden and probably a penchant for eggs.  I went to speak to a friend of mine who re-homes Battery Chickens and will post a blog up later this week about her motivations.


You can have a look at a few photos from our morning at Wood Green.


In addition to spreading the word about re-homing battery chickens, and the work of Wood Green and giffgaff, there are lots of ways you can get involved.  You can help in four ways, donate (the cost to rehabilitate and re—home one chicken is £4), re-home, (as many of you have already,) support or visit.  All the info can be found on their website.


Lots of you have mentioned you have re-homed chickens, which is an amazing thing. I'd love to hear more stories, which I can post as a blog later this week.


Can I lastly add that it’s amazing to have so much positive feedback to my previous blogs and this project, it makes working at giffgaff even better…and to be honest it was pretty good any way.


Just absolutely brilliant giffgaff. Not something that any network would choose to do. I like that it is unique. Awesome!


Great choice of cause; I always have a few ex-commercial ratbags in the garden. It's brilliant watching them blossom from pecked, half-bald recklings into big, brassy hens. Slugs converted into eggs is great payback, too!


Great stuff.


Animal charities are always extremely underfunded, and it reflects well on giffgaff to be involved in supporting such a worthwhile cause.


Keep it up.    




I just saw a horizontal version of that flash banner ad :)


Nice spot / Screen cap :)


sew the banner on ebay,well done and good thing.

handy giff-staffer tom
handy giff-staffer

Thanks for all the great comments and support for this campaign.


I thought I'd clarify regarding some of the questions on cost of re-homing poor battery chickens.  £4 (paid by giffgaff) covers the collection and cost of feeding a hen during the initial rehabilitation period.  £5 is the suggested donation for receiving one hen. However, hens are sociable, flocking birds, and so Wood Green feel that hens should be re-homed in groups of at least three, making a suggested minimum total of £15.


Some lovely members wanted to know if they could donate from their mobile, so if you feel that way inclined here are the details.


By Phone: 0844 875 0150

By Text: Text ‘WDGN00 £XX’ to 70070, including the amount - either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10


Thanks again for the ongoing support.  It's super to see.


The "unlock a chicken" ad is brilliant. Any chance of it being available as a giffgaff banner to use with our personal links?


lol @ the photos, Tom looks so scared in that one pic with him holding the chicken that he could lay an egg!


"collective good' is a very wobbly term. Doesn't really mean a lot or mean a lot here. It's a not a slogan I would really gravitate towards as a company because it is inherently political. Not everyone really accepts the notion of a collective good unfortunately.

The only chicken go buying comes from the local butcher