Do you enjoy knitting and love animals? Then you’ll love this story! The New Arc, a wildlife sanctuary located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is asking for knitted sweaters to help keep the rescued hens in their care warm.

The New Arc staff recently saved 110 hens from horrific lives in crowded battery cages. Battery cages are commonly used in the egg industry and are among the cruelest forms of confinement in the animal agriculture industry. To maximize production, farmers keep up to 10 chickens in one cage, where they spend their lives living in filth, unable to even turn around. The stress of living in this sort of cramped environment often drives chickens to pluck out their own feathers or lose them after rubbing against wire cages. Thankfully, these 110 hens were saved from this terrible life – but their time in cages left them with sparse feathers, making them highly susceptible to the cold. To solve this problem, the kind people at New Arc have taken to knitting them tiny sweaters!

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The sweaters will keep the hens warm during the winter months while their feathers grow back. An added perk: the hens look super stylish! 

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The New Arc’s owners, Keith and Pauline Marley, found forever homes for 60 of the chickens and are now caring for the rest.

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If you’ve ever knit something, you know it takes a lot of time and patience. To help get outfits for all 110 hens, the sanctuary has called on the community to help. Willing knitters have been asked to follow the instructions to make special sweaters fit for a hen. 

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Keith, one of The New Arc’s owners, has even noticed that the jumper-less chickens appear jealous of their friends with fancy sweaters. “They are happy enough wearing them, but the ones who don’t have jumpers have been pecking the ones that do. If there is sparkly bling in it, then that seems to make it worse,” Keith said. Despite the jealousy, the hens seem to be improving. Keith noted, “They were in a real state when they arrived here and are showing signs of improvement.”

If you have a knack for knitting, you can help the hens in The New Arc’s care by making one of these adorable jumpers. For instructions, click here. Even if The New Arc is unable to use them this time around, they can save the sweaters for the next rescue. The hens will thank you!

Image Source: SWNS/Scotsman