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In from the cold: chilly chickens given a winter warmer
How would you feel? One minute you're in a warm battery shed squashed up alongside someone who's pecking out your feathers - the next you're out in an open field with nothing to protect you from the elements. Thank the Lord for chicken jumpers...
Queenie and her three friends are feeling the cold a little more than most this winter.
Recovered from a battery farm in November last year, they were largely without feathers and - away from the artificial heat of the chicken sheds - have been feeling the winter weather.
But owner Brigitte Hawley from Benenden has come up with a clever way of allowing her hens to enjoy the outside world, while being as snug as their more feathered friends.
A knitted chicken jumper - or 'Chux Tux' as Brigitte calls it - is the latest must-have item for feather-challenged chickens exploring the brave new world outside of the battery.
The 'Tux' can come in different designs depending on which parts of the bird are in need of insulation. Brigitte can also create poultry pullies in a variety of colours.
These hens have all been re-housed by the Battery Hen Welfare Trust, a charity that works with farmers to give a new lease of life to 'spent' battery hens when their egg productivity starts to take a slide.
The good news is that once out in the open - and with the help of a Chux Tux - the hens soon start to re-grow their feathers. Great news for Queenie and for the next reformed battery hen to inherit her winter coat.
last updated: 29/04/2008 at 15:16