Video: Pensioners knit jumpers for bald chickens

A SMALL group of chickens and hens are sporting a new look this season - an array of colourful knitted jumpers.

A SMALL group of chickens and hens are sporting a new look this season - an array of colourful knitted jumpers.

Residents at the Uvedale Hall residential home in Needham Market have been busy creating the new look for former battery chickens who have lost their feathers.

The new attire, dubbed chicken tuxedos, came about after a plea from animal welfare charity, Battery Hen Welfare Trust.

Uvie, a 16-month-old hen, visited the home yesterday and paraded her new jacket to pensioners.

Resident Flo Devine, 97, said: “I love her new jacket and her new look, it really suits her.

“My father kept chickens in our garden. I think she is lovely.”

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“We have had great fun doing this,” added Joan Green, 84, a retired farmer's wife originally from Norfolk. “It's ridiculous, but I have been knitting away. Why shouldn't we help the little hens, you shouldn't take life too seriously, and if we can help in a fun way, so much the better.”

Lesley Austin, a trust coordinator, explained: “We are raising awareness of the (cramped) conditions they live in and that so many products, from cakes to quiche, use battery eggs. If they don't specify free range you can bet they are from battery hens.

“Sometimes they come out very bald and these jackets will keep them warm until their feathers come back, and we will find homes for them to go to. Staff are even considering having Uvie and a few of her friends here for the residents. Their effort has been fabulous.”

The Battery Hen Welfare Trust aims to inspire people to do as possible to achieve a better future for the 20 million battery hens currently in their cages.

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