The poor chooks have gone into moult late again and the coldest weather has come just as they are at their baldest. They are miserable and cold, missing Randy and off lay. They normally don't mind the winter, so they need a little help to keep them warm... jumpers!
The lovely people at Little Hen Rescue, who do such great work with ex-battery hens, have a pattern which I borrowed, and the boyf and the 10yr old found me a pair of very festive fleece blankets.
I drew the pattern out and cut six pieces out, three spotty and three red (double-sided jumpers). The pattern recommends velcro fastenings but I have none to hand, so I used the same gold ribbon that I used on the Victorian Costume.
I sandwiched it between the two layers and pinned it in place. I then zigzag stitched around the edge of the jumper. I didn't stitch around the neck seam as I wanted to keep it's flexibility.
Three Hen Jumpers. Very festive too!
Two rather bald hens, who I bribed out of the run with a pile of soggy leaves!
Sometime later.... three stroppy chickens looking rather like the Beast from Maggie and the Ferocious Beast! The jumpers went on pretty fuss-free (mostly) but I took the opportunity to vaseline their legs: the girls do not like it when I vaseline their legs, not at all. By the time they'd gone to sulk in the coop they were really rather annoyed with me and clucking away telling me off!
Girls jumpers done, I cut out the rest of the fleece for jumpers for the lovely Gail at Farplace Animal Rescue, who has some new girls who could use a little extra warmth. Just need some velcro and then they can go in the post.