Chicks are looking chic

27th February 2009 at 00:00

Touched by the plight of battery hens turned bald by stress, Jo Eglen realised she couldn't just let them shiver in the cold. So she came up with a solution to banish their goosebumps - jumpers for chickens.

Jo, a teaching assistant, runs a rescue centre for battery hens. Alarmed by the thought of the birds suffering after their feathers had fallen out as a result of living in cramped conditions, she published an appeal for poultry pullovers on her website, complete with knitting pattern.

So far she has received 1,500 jumpers of all different patterns and colours, including one sent in by a supporter in Germany. The jumpers have room for the chickens to move their wings, and the extra warmth encourages the feathers to grow back.

Jo, who works at Harford Manor School, a special school in Norwich, set up Little Hen Rescue after visiting a battery farm. She negotiates to take the birds from farmers, and then tries to find them good homes.

As well as jumpers, Jo also teaches hens how to drink from bowls and provides physiotherapy to birds whose leg muscles have wasted away due to them not being able to stand in their cages.

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