Retirees knit sweaters for chickens to keep them warm through winter

Feng Xue
By Feng Xue
March 14, 2017Videos

When it gets cold, many people put a sweater on their puppy, but no one thinks to put one on a chicken.

These women are part of a knitting club a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts.

Non-profit Mary M. B. Wakefield Charitable Trust Program asked them to help with a special task—knit sweaters for chickens to keep them warm during cold New England months.

The women were skeptical at first.

“I thought it was the most foolish thing I had ever heard in my life,” said Libby Kaplan, one of the knitters.

“Never thought of it that a chicken would wear a sweater,” said another knitter Rosemary Gelep.

Once they got knitting, however, the women found joy in the project.

Now the chickens proudly strut their handmade sweaters.

One of the women, Nancy Kearns, is happy to be her knitting skills to use.

“That’s one thing that we do have a little more time now that we’re retired and we use our talents, I guess, in whatever ways they can be used and makes us happy ’cause we don’t wanna be, you know, just sitting in our rocking chairs. We have work to do,” she said.

For Kaplan, the task helped her overcome her fear of birds.

“When they said they were gonna make the sweaters for the chickens, everybody I told laughed at me. They couldn’t believe it, but we made the sweaters for the chickens and I’m glad that we did,” she said.

The sweaters come in different sizes, colors, and patterns.

The ladies get to dress the fussy hens—and roosters—themselves.

For Barbara Widmayer, the sweaters provide a welcome distraction from everything that’s happening in the world.

“To be honest with you, there’s so much going on these days that’s kind of contentious in the world, it was actually very calming to me to work on this,” she said.

Their team effort kept these birds fashionably warm this winter.


(AP, NTD Staff)

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