Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Barn yarn: Retirees knitting sweaters for chilly chickens

By Rodrique Ngowi | AP

In this Wednesday, March 8, 2017 photo, “Prince Peep,” a rooster native to Malaysia, wears a sweater at Fuller Village retirement home in Milton, Mass. The sweater was one of many knitted by a group of women in the retirement home for chickens in a neighboring nonprofit education program. (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

MILTON, Massachusetts — Sweaters for chickens? It sounds like a joke, but a plucky group of retirees in suburban Boston has hatched a plan to keep poultry warm during the New England winter.

The unusual project began after members of a knitting club at Fuller Village, a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts, heard about the hardships that some chickens suffer this time of year.

Certain breeds shed their feathers and grow new plumage in the winter months. Others imported from tropical climates just aren’t suited for the wintry conditions.

Organizer Nancy Kearns said the project benefits birds kept on a neighboring estate known as the Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust.

“I don’t think in my wildest dreams I ever thought anybody made sweaters for chickens,” said Barbara Widmayer, 76, who started knitting when she was 15 years old...

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