You guys. It's Tuesday. And not only is it Tuesday, it's the Tuesday before a holiday. That means that a large number of working American adults are currently sitting there at their jobs, trying to do as little as possible as they count down to the very second they can clock out and go enjoy a well-deserved, multiple-day weekend. So you know what? Here. Have some chickens in sweaters. It's my gift to you on this pre-holiday Tuesday.
The chickens in question belong to 25-year-old Nicola Congdon, who lives in Falmouth in Cornwall, England. According to Mashable, Congdon takes care of somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 chickens total. 30 of them, however, are former battery hens — the name by which egg-laying hens are often referred, which comes from the system of cages in which they spend most (if not all) of their lives. When battery hens are retired from service, so to speak, they often lack feathers — which, as you might imagine, is a huge problem during the colder months. So, in order to help the rescued birds, Congdon and her mother, Anne, started knitting them the cutest little sweaters you ever did see. Said Congdon to Mashable, “They keep them warm and makes the chickens easy to identify.”
Also, they are adorable. I mean, just look at them.
The sweaters, however, also make an important point. Battery cages are what the whole cage-free debate centers around: The question of whether they're acceptable or inhumane. The system consists of a large number of cages arranged in rows and columns; each cage shares walls with other cages to divide them up, not unlike the cells in a battery (hence the name). Those who champion the cages say that the system is a much more efficient way of producing eggs — one farmer told the Guardian in 2014 that properly cared-for battery hens don't require antibiotics because they don't get sick, which he credits to the cages. However, those who condemn the use of battery cages, including the Humane Society of the United States, note that hens kept within them are prevented from performing normal chicken activities like scratching and spreading their wings. Battery hens may also suffer mistreatment like forced moulting.
That's where Congdon's chicken sweaters come in — they provide the warmth that the chickens' missing feathers can't. And the sweaters are doing even more good, too: In a video on the SWNS Animals YouTube channel, Congdon reports that people have begun asking if the sweaters are available for purchase. They are — for a donation to Project Primrose, a charity with which Congdon is involved that helps provide funds for children at the Ubuntu Orphanage in South Africa.
Want a chicken sweater of your very own? And check out the full video below for more, including how you can get one.
Images: SWNS Animals/YouTube (2)