In England, a Hotel for Chickens
More and more British people are raising their own chickens. But these chicken owners have a real worry: what to do with their chickens when they go on vacation. A woman named Julie Smith has answered their prayers. She has opened a chicken hotel in the English countryside to take care of the birds when their owners are away.Julie Smith named her hotel the Fowlty Towers. The name is a play on words from the British television comedy about a hotel called Fawlty Towers. But Julie's hotel houses fowl, or chickens. And she wants to make sure they have a wonderful stay. She gives them lots of individual attention and feeds them fresh vegetables every day. She collects the eggs they lay, and gives them to their owners when they return. She even takes the chickens for walks in her hen stroller. England has faced hard economic times during the global recession. Julie Smith feels lucky that she has been able to develop a business around her interest. Her specialized business has done well. She has thirteen chickens of her own. They are commercial hens. That means she uses the eggs and sells them. Also, she knows she is providing a service for her community. Now clients even come to her from outside the county of Kent where she lives, in southeastern England. Recently she kept a woman's hens when she went into the hospital to have a baby. At night, the chickens stay in hen houses. But during the day they can free-range in a garden. But, Julie Smith only takes hens, which are female birds. No male birds are allowed. For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.