Bury St Edmunds: Meet the nightclub bouncer from Flex who came to the rescue of retired hens
- Credit: Archant
A bouncer with a soft spot for chickens is looking for your help to save hundreds of retired hens from slaughter every month.
Taz Clarke, who works at Flex nightclub in Bury St Edmunds, has become the area’s only “collection point” for those looking to rehome chickens.
Volunteering for the charity Fresh Start for Hens, 26-year-old Taz has now found 167 feathered friends new homes, and hopes this month will bring even more success.
The Fornham St Martin mother-of-three fell in love with the animals after seeing an appeal to rehome them back in 2011.
She said: “It was heartbreaking to hear that all these egg-laying hens, when they are no longer laying enough eggs, just get killed.
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“So I rehomed two hens and named them Baldy and Wonky. They were barn-kept hens and were very nervous to start off with.
“Unfortunately, Wonky passed away in February but she had almost three years of freedom.”
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Taz, who lives on Park Avenue, is adamant that nearly anyone can rehome a hen. She said: “It is very easy. You don’t need a lot of garden space for them.
“The battery hens never had more room than a bit of floor the size of an iPad and any freedom is a big improvement.
“You don’t need a fancy coop, I just had a rabbit hutch and made up a small six foot run for them.
“Feeding is cheap as well; you get a 20 kilo bag for £9. Healthcare is not expensive. But when you rehome the hens we advise for them to be wormed as with all animals.
“They are such a loving animal, you get so much back from owning them, much more than you put in.”
To rehome a hen it costs a small donation of £2.50, which goes towards Fresh Start’s costs.
The process involves registering your interest through the website at freshstartforhens.co.uk, after which you will be contacted by Taz.
Following a few simple checks, all you have to do after that is collect your new pet or pets from her house.
Taz explained the checks were to weed out some unscrupulous applicants, she said: “Some people are interested in the chickens for different reasons. You can get restaurants phoning up thinking £2.50 is not a bad price.”
This animal-loving bouncer is first to admit that not many expect those in her profession to have a kind side.
She said: “Working as bouncer, it is a very big contrast. It is a bit of a weird one, they assume you can’t have a nice side – but I am not your average door supervisor.
“I am a complete softy around my hens but you have to be pretty serious as a bouncer.
“It goes to prove we are not all nasty people, we have a soft side.”