A woman who re-homes battery chickens has also begun to knit them colourful tank tops to keep them warm during the Winter months.
25-year-old Nicola Congden lives in Falmouth, Cornwall, where she knits the tank tops in her kitchen. Battery farm chickens often pull out their own feathers as result of the terrible conditions in which they are kept, so the extra layers are welcomed by Nicola’s feathered friends.
The chickens are watched by Nicola and her mum when they wear their jumpers, and are given them when it gets particularly cold outside. Nicola estimates that she has made about 150 of the sweaters and says that she likes to match the colour of the jumpers to the colours of the chickens’ feathers!
Battery farm chickens often find it difficult to get used to cooler, outside temperatures, having been kept in extremely hot and cramped conditions. She currently looks after about 30 rescued chickens, and also takes care of another 30 that have lived with her for their whole lives. Nicola says that she hopes her story will raise awareness about the terrible conditions battery chickens are being kept in.
‘I saw an article a few years ago about doing them for ex-battery hens and I decided at the time that I would like to do that’, she said. ‘I got the pattern and I got my mum to make them,’ she added. ‘It just grew from there.’ Nicola and her mum now receive multiple requests from all around the world for chicken owners to make knitwear for their own chickens!
“The tank tops are also something really different that provide some fun for the chickens. They keep them warm and makes the chickens easy to identify.” said Nicola, who isn’t profiting directly from the sale of the sweaters, but is instead donating any profits to an AIDS orphanage in South Africa.