A seniors’ knitting club in the Boston suburbs has quite literally gone to the birds. As The Associated Press reports, the group is knitting tiny sweaters for chickens after learning that some types of poultry simply aren’t cut out for cold climates.
Chickens trap pockets of air between their feathers, which they warm with their body heat. This helps insulate them from frigid temperatures. However, residents of Fuller Village, a retirement home in Milton, learned that some breeds actually shed during the winter and grow new plumage. Meanwhile, others are imported from tropical regions and aren’t suited for snow. This new knowledge inspired the seniors to pick up their knitting needles and craft for a cause.
The knitting club’s cozy creations benefit chickens kept at the Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust, a local educational farm and historic site. Since donning their donated outfits, the barnyard birds have started producing more eggs, according to estate spokeswoman Erica Max. That being said, the birds aren’t the only ones benefiting from the project.
"There's so much going on these days that's kind of contentious in the world," knitter Barbara Widmayer, 76—who knitted a sweater for a Malaysian rooster named Prince Peep—told the AP. "It was actually very calming to me to work on this." Meanwhile, other crafters say the project has helped them overcome their fear of birds, or find satisfaction in using their skills to help out animals.
The tiny sweaters come in different sizes, colors, and patterns. Check out the chickens' cold-weather fashion in the video below, courtesy of the AP.
[h/t The Associated Press]