There are two stories here. I was listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me a few weeks ago (which is, by the way, my all time favorite radio show besides This American Life) and one of the things they talked about was a chicken rescue group who putting little sweaters on the naked, abused chickens at their rescue. Mo Rocca said he didn’t like hand knit sweaters and then he promptly got one from the ladies over at ravelry and then he apologized (and created a wave of discussion through the knitting community).
Anywho, back to what prompted this story. I sold one of my little hens (available in the etsy shop) to a very nice woman in the UK for her grandson, and she sent me the link to the Little Hen Rescue. Oh my goodness, the sweaters, the chickens, the ability to adopt such a chicken! It’s pretty fabulous.
I’ve got to confess, my sister and I were each allowed to pick out a chicken at the feedstore when we were little. We raised them and, after a while, they started to lay eggs and go about their chickeny business. I can’t remember what attempted to eat Jessie’s chicken (it was either a hawk or the dog…) all that was left was a pile of feathers until, that is, we found it crouched behind some feed bins several days later… totally naked. We took a doll sweater (and to make the visual even better, it was a Charlie Brown sweater) and stuck it on the chicken until it’s feathers grew back. It worked and after a few months all of the feathers were back!
Here’s a video of the sweater knitting action. There’s a pattern for a chicken sweater, if you wanted to knit one yourself.