Retirees Keep Chickens Warm with Knitted Sweaters

Retirees in suburban Boston found a way to entertain themselves while giving warmth to chickens during the New England winter.

It started when members of a knitting club at Fuller Village heard about the predicament faced by chickens this time of year. Fuller Village is a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts. Certain breeds shed their feathers and grow new plumage in the winter months while those from tropical climates just aren’t suited for the wintry conditions.

These cases inspired Nancy Kearns to organize a project that benefits birds on a neighboring estate called Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust.

“I don’t think in my wildest dreams I ever thought anybody made sweaters for chickens,” said Barbara Widmayer, 76. One of the sweaters she handcrafted was fitted to Prince Peep, a rooster from Malaysia.

The project has also helped Libby Kaplan, 76, overcome her fear of birds. “I think animals need to be warm, too, and I’m so glad we did it,” she said.

The chickens seem to like the sweaters as egg production jumped noticeably since they began wearing them

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