Dabble DB

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Case Study: How the Battery Hen Welfare Trust is Using Dabble DB

As a customer for almost two years, the Battery Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) is a great example of how people are using Dabble DB in their organizations. Based in the United Kingdom, BHWT has saved over 180,000 caged hens from slaughter to re-home them as family pets since the charity began in 2005. This is only 1% of caged hens, but their initiatives are going strong. With celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on board, it's no surprise that they have found success raising awareness for free-range egg production, as well as educating consumers to be more discerning.

Initially, BHWT realized that their rapid growth necessitated moving away from Excel for re-homing records. The increasing number of users resulted in a lack of consistency in their spreadsheets, and coordinators in particular found Excel too technically-demanding for tracking a lot of data, especially without extensive training. BHWT also wanted the ability to view their data in different ways -- something that Excel does not handle easily or quickly. The spreadsheet system also offered no obvious way for the head office to oversee the booking and re-homing process. They decided to look into an online solution and found Dabble DB. The admin user, Adèle Hall said that “since moving our Excel based files to Dabble a year ago, we now have a system that provides all we need to manage and analyze our hen distribution data."

The main function of BHWT's database is to record and maintain hen bookings, both for the trust's own records, and for the British government. Dabble DB makes it easy to report where the hens have been re-homed and, should there be any outbreaks of poultry diseases in the area, it's a simple task to send a list to the government.

Instead of giving all 46 users access to the entire data set, they have set it up so that each person has access to designated Pages and only sees the data for a specified area. With users dotted all over the UK, BHWT makes good use of Dabble DB's ability to be accessed from anywhere, anytime. They also find the system's usability and flexibility especially useful when they run into problems or when they field requests. Adèle continued saying, "Without the need to involve technical personnel we can quickly provide booking access and statistics for our volunteers and Devon HQ as well as add enhancements practically ‘on the fly’ as our  charity evolves.”

Our customers often tell us how handy they find the Pages feature because one can embed data views and forms into other websites. As an example, BHWT has created an Adoption Request Form that the public can use on the trust's site. This saves their coordinators a great deal of time because they no longer have to copy information from an email and into a spreadsheet by hand. (You can check out this form on their website)

Here are some other examples of how the trust uses Dabble DB:

- Creating tax reports
- Monitoring hens' status and wait lists
- Tracking equipment
- Recording volunteer information and availability
- Showing confirmed re-homing dates in each area using a calendar view (this can be viewed here)
- Viewing area statistics of hens, rehoming etc.

Now let's take a look at some of their views:

This form that they created using Pages allows all of the coordinators to add new booking and rehoming information into the database.

Picture 10
 After they have submitted the rehomer information, they can oversee all of their bookings in this view,which is linked to a shared page for the co-ordinators. They have conveniently made it so that the most recent bookings are always at the top to allow the coordinator to go back and edit straight away if they spot anything that needs changing after submission.


If you’re like most offices, finding saved documents on your office network can be cumbersome at times. BHWT has created an attachment field that they can attach documents to so that all of their coordinators across the UK can access them at any time.


The Battery Hen Welfare Trust is a busy organization that continues to see massive growth. Since they've started using Dabble DB, they've found it to be an invaluable tool that has grown with them and helped them to get their work done more quickly and easily. Happily, they continue to find new uses for it to help them be even more productive.

If you would like to share how you're using Dabble DB, drop us a line - accounts@dabbledb.com


  1. Vanessa Posada says:

    As part of its ongoing efforts to educate backyard poultry owners about what they can do to protect their birds against infectious poultry diseases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering a free and informative calendar for 2010. The Backyard Biosecurity: Keeping Your Birds Healthy calendar features full-color photos of poultry and other birds each month. It contains useful information about protecting poultry from disease and includes tips on what to do should poultry owners suspect that their birds are infected with a disease such as avian influenza. Those interested in receiving this free calendar can go to http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov and click “2010 Backyard Biosecurity Calendar.”

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