Couple in ‘toys for hens’ plea

Emma Mosey and husband Ben aim to run a cruelty-free and slaughter-free egg-production business. (S)
Emma Mosey and husband Ben aim to run a cruelty-free and slaughter-free egg-production business. (S)

A farm shop in Boroughbridge is looking for unwanted Christmas toys to give to its new flock of 6,000 egg-laying hens.

“Our new flock of hens arrives at the beginning of February. It would be wonderful if we could have some exciting toys for them to help them settle into the barn,” said Ben Mosey, owner of Minskip Farm Shop.

“Toys stimulate the hens, and more enrichment reduces stress, allowing them perform their natural behaviours.

“The hens get bored if they have nothing to do: we can all identify with that!”

It’s not the first time Mr Mosey and his wife, Emma, have issued a call for help from the public.

Following an appeal reported by this newspaper towards the end of last year, the team at Minskip Farm Shop successfully rehomed their last flock of 6,000 hens – saving them all from slaughter just days before Christmas.

The Moseys believe that the happier and healthier the hens, the better their eggs will taste, and the couple’s ambition to run a cruelty-free and slaughter-free egg-production business received a boost recently when the firm won Retailer of the Year 2018 from the British Free Range Egg Producers’ Association – an award previously won by Marks and Spencer and Booths.

People interested in donating suitable toys should just take them to Minskip Farm Shop during opening hours.

“We are looking for colourful plastic toys which the hens can peck at,” said farmer Ben, who added: “They particularly like the colour red.”

The Moseys’s farm, which is located close to the A1(M), also has a collection of other animals, including three rare-breed pigs and four alpacas.