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More than 200 homes in Brussels keep hens
Brussels has 1.2 milion people - but it also has at least 700 hens, owned by more than 200 households, according to the first findings of a census launched in January.
The census was conducted in order to promote hens in the city, along with finding out why people are choosing them.
According to the research, the main reasons are for their eggs, to help get rid of leftovers and the enjoyment that comes with having a pet.
As far as the difficulties of raising hens goes, maintaining the henhouses and warding off predators are the two top concerns. Despite the concerns, however, the majority of respondants have had them for at least two years, meaning the positives outweigh the negatives enough for owners to want to continue raising them.
Along with this, around three quarters of those surveyed had given their hens names, indicating attachment to the animals.
Knowing this information helps combat the abandonment of hens, says Etienne Toffin, initiator of the project. More information on the census of hens still in progress can be found here.