At the time, I contemplated knitting her a vest to keep her warm (it was the dead of winter. She had goosebumps. I'm not crazy. Just sayin'.), and K convinced me that a towel was sufficient to her needs.*
Imagine, then, my joy in learning that I'm not the craziest chicken-harborer on the planet.
|This image comes from Kent Online (www.kentonline.co.uk)|
It seems that schoolkids in Ashford, UK are knitting sweaters for "retired" egg-producing hens. (Click here for the story.) During their working lives, these hens are kept in small cages in close proximity to their fellow hens, who, being penned and bored and lacking chicken-themed reading material or video games to while away the long hours of egg production, peck bald spots into their neighboring hens.** When their egg production drops below a certain level, they are made into pet food or, alternatively, rescued by people with more chicken-related issues than even I.
And what do you do with a bunch of partly naked rescue chickens? You get a bunch of empathetic teenagers to make a class project out of knitting them sweaters.
It makes perfect sense to me.
*Well, what he actually did was say, "Are you serious?" in such an incredulous, Good-Lord-I-may-have-to-commit-my-wife-to-a-mental-institution tone of voice that I was shamed into creeping downstairs when his back was turned and tucking one of our old ratty dog towels around her. And then quickly ripping out the ribbing I'd cast on for the chicken vest before he noticed it.
**This, actually, is part of the reason I had a naked chicken in my basement in the first place. Even free-rangers are not above pecking one another baldish.