Seventeen former battery hens have been given a new lease of life after being taken in by staff and students at Eccles Sixth-Form College.

The college’s sport, health and social care, travel and tourism and uniformed public services departments all chipped in to cover the £4-per-hen fee charged by Lucky Hens Rescue, a Wigan-based charity which originally saved the hens from slaughter.

Now, the rescued chickens will live in a newly refurbished pen at the college, alongside seven Vorwerk chickens, a breed originating in Germany.

For now, the chickens are wearing jumpers knitted for them by health and social care students until their feathers grow back, following their ordeal.

“They have all settled in so well, it took them some time to venture outside but we have to remember they have never seen anything like this before,” said Chris Pye, the college’s animal centre coordinator.

“It was also so nice of all of the departments to come together to help these animals, and this worthy cause. I feel immensely proud of us all.”

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