PetSavers – BSAVA PetSavers partners with the British Hen Welfare Trust to offer new student grant

1 September 2021

BSAVA PetSavers has partnered with the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) to jointly fund a generous grant for an undergraduate student research project in chicken veterinary health. Applications for the £2500 grant will open on 1st September 2021 and close on 15th December 2021.

As the UK’s largest chicken charity, the BHWT aims to improve the current lack of knowledge about pet hens within the veterinary profession. It has been widely accepted that most vets receive minimal training on pet chicken diagnosis and care, but with increasing numbers of hens now being kept across the country there is a growing demand for specialist knowledge and treatment.

The aim of the student research project is to help improve veterinary understanding of chicken health and ultimately increase the quality of welfare and longevity of pet hens. Applications should be made by prospective supervisors of undergraduate vets or vet nurses from UK universities with veterinary students.

Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: “We are extremely excited to be embarking on this partnership with such a prestigious organisation as BSAVA PetSavers to lead the way in encouraging pioneering research into chickens.

“Hens are becoming increasingly popular as pets but sadly hen keepers often find there is a lack of treatment options specifically for chickens. That’s why we set up our dedicated Hen Helpline for people, but we know that enhancing veterinary research and knowledge into chickens is vital to support the growing number of backyard hen keepers. Jointly offering a grant with BSAVA PetSavers is a big step forward to providing that support.”

David Killick, from BSAVA PetSavers continued: “BSAVA PetSavers is delighted to collaborate with the BHWT in supporting a summer research project for a student interested in learning more about the needs of pet chickens and how to meet them. The funding will support research and stipend costs and provide the student with the prestigious opportunity to present their work at BSAVA Congress; we look forward to seeing the outcome of the project.”

BSAVA PetSavers offers a number of grants including their Student Research Projects which give applicants the chance to undertake a student project on companion animal research. BSAVA PetSavers was initially established as the Clinical Studies Trust Fund in 1974 to fund clinical research. Since then, it has invested more than £2 million to support vital clinical veterinary research and training programmes.

To apply for the BSAVA PetSavers and BHWT student research project, visit the BHWT website here:

To find out more about the BHWT, visit the website here:

This student grant is the latest initiative from BSAVA dedicated to improving hen health. Published in 2019, the BSAVA Manual of Backyard Poultry Medicine and Surgery was the first resource dedicated to providing good quality information to help veterinary professionals provide the level of care to backyard birds that clients expect and deserve. Print copies of the Manual can be purchased from the BSAVA website here:; a digital version can be purchased from the BSAVA Library: