Retirement Community Is Knitting Tiny Sweaters To Keep Chickens Warm


The recent spate of cold weather has everyone rushing indoors. But what about our furry (and feathered) friends that live outside? Well now, the chickens of New England are the latest recipients of animal-sized sweaters, thanks to the knitting prowess of one retirement community.

The knitting club at Fuller Village, a retirement home located in Milton, Massachusetts, teamed up with a local nonprofit center to help the cold hens in New England. Cold temperatures can negatively impact a chicken’s health and egg-laying capabilities, which is a serious issue for farmers and the poultry industry.

And for some breeds that molt (shed their feathers and grow new ones) during the winter months, they can get mighty chilly. Luckily, a hand-knit sweater can change that, and keep a lucky chicken warm and cozy.

“When they said they were gonna make these sweaters for the chickens, I thought it was the most foolish thing I had ever heard in my life and everybody that I told laughed at me,” said Fuller Village resident Libby Kaplan in an interview with ABC 13 News. “They couldn’t believe it, but we made the sweaters for the chickens and I’m glad that we did.”

The knitting project was organized by Nancy Kearn, who was inspired by the massive sweaters that people knit for elephants in northern India during a recent cold snap. The chickens in question live on a nearby estate called the Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust, and local farmers say egg production has risen since the chickens received their sweaters.

“I don’t think in my wildest dreams I ever thought anybody made sweaters for chickens,” Barbara Widmayer, 76, and a 15-year knitting veteran told ABC 13. “It was actually very calming to me to work on this.”

You can watch an entire video about the toasty-warm chickens below:

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If you’re interested in making a sweater for the chickens in your life, get the tutorial here.

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About the Author
Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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