DIY Chicken Sweaters






146 Responses to “DIY Chicken Sweaters”

  1. CatseyesQQ says:

    These things promote cruelty. Any good chicken owner wouldn’t think of putting these things on their birds. Chicken Sweaters are unnecessary, counter-productive and dangerous to the birds.
    A hen’s temperature is 107o therefore they can tolerate very low temperatures a lot better than warm temperatures. These things prevent natural ability to moderate their own body temperature.
    They cause a number of health issues including pain and irritation of new feathers, they stop the ability to preen and dust bathe which are essential for healthy feathers and skin, and their wellbeing.
    They get wet causing the birds to become even colder, and trap moisture under the wings where lice and mites will set up home.
    They are a money spinner by heartless people playing on the ignorance of new chicken keepers who know no better yet.

    • Mark Story Jenks says:

      I agree 100%. Here is another reason not to use them.
      I have had Hawks attack my chickens on occasion. Often times, the chicken can escape because the Hawk manages to only be able to grab talons full of feathers. I have Bantam Cochins, and they are real feather-balls.
      But a few times the Hawk managed to get a good enough grip to fly away with a hen. It would occur to me that it would be very easy for a Hawk to get its talons in a firm grip in to a knitted sweater.
      Now, I understand where some people might think it’s cute.
      But it could spell certain death for one of your favorite hens.

    • Tamera Graywolf says:

      You know, this might just save one of my hens life. The rooster pulled some feathers out of her back trying to breed her, so we separated them. Unfortunately, the hot summer sun keeps beating down on her, so her back is sun burnt, even though she has shade to stay in. I have been putting cream on it, but she has pulled more and more feathers out of her own back. She has a bald spot half way down her back about two inches wide that includes some of her tail feathers. They aren’t coming back and fall is coming on. Soon it will be winter, so I guess you guys think it would be kinder to let the bare skin just freeze, or maybe kill her, cause her feathers aren’t growing back, and she is getting worse by the week. I am not advocating this for long term use, and I would take it off her if it was raining, but I am at my wits end, and I don’t want to kill her. If you have any better ideas, I would love to hear them. And as for hawks, my large chicken area has wire over the top, so my hens are protected.

      • Green Hen says:

        Tamera, I think a hen saddle would work better for your girl.

        You can make one out of a scrap of polar fleece (just make slits for wings, hole for tail), although if the rooster is an ongoing problem then go with a lightly quilted cotton gingham.

        Worked when my hen had a bald back – it’s uncomfortable when the pin feathers finally come in, but better than bar skin in frigid weather.

      • Suzanne says:

        I had a rooster that really tore up the back of one of my best layers. Her skin was sunburned so I put pine tar on her to keep him off of her but to no avail. Next I put Blue Note and a saddle on her and still, he would mount her and rip out feathers and the saddle would slide to the side. So I decided to get rid of the rooster. The hens haven’t missed him at all. My run is peaceful and she is growing her feathers back. I am also feeding the entire flock “Feather Fixer” which I read helps all of them after the molt. I hope it will help them grown a pile of feathers that will keep them warm this winter. So may be you can either regime your too – or eat him.

      • Christine Sylvester says:

        You should use a proper saddle, NOT knitware. the can get tangled in knitting and break legs or worse.

      • Kathy Bassett says:

        Good Grief! Just go to a country supply store and buy a bottle of “Rooster
        Booster” Follow the directions on the bottle that says to put some on the bald areas and the roosters will not pick the feathers out of your hens anymore. I’ve used it and it does work.

    • Eileen Critchley says:

      These are made to protect ex battery hens. Here is the UK it’s now illegal to farm battery hens so many egg farms have closed and the hens are now rescue hens. They were in such a state with hardly any feathers. These little chicken jackets keep them warm until their new feather regrow. These chickens are now peoples pets and these jackets have saved them.

    • Nancy Jane York says:

      Thanks for the comment I was wondering about these.

    • citty says:

      ok, i have a chicken that is… old. she has no feathers on her back, and i picked her up tod ay, FREEZING! she was shivering, her feet were ice, i needed to do somthing or id loose her. we have owles all over, but not hawks, i am always home, and out at my chickens. we allways have very cold winters here. if i dont at east try to keep her warm id loose another chicken!

  2. Kimberly says:

    This is great if you want your chickens to die. Do not anthropomorphize your animals, they are not people. Hens do not need to be kept warm, God gave them feathers. All they need is a dry, draft free home, unfrozen water and good quality food, no heat is necessary.

    You should really take this down before someone kills their kid’s pet chicken, trying to keep it warm.

    Don’t believe me,
    walk outside on a snowy day and count the number of birds surviving without sweaters!

  3. Candyce Gorelli says:

    This is the WORST thing you can do to a chicken. Please do NOT make sweaters for chickens. The sweaters will actually compress the chicken’s natural insulating down feathers, forcing the trapped warm air out, and then it will be sucked away by the outer cold air and wind through permeable, non-windproof weave of the sweater.

    The best way to protect chickens in winter is to provide them with a draft-free shelter and a heated water bowl or trough for fresh drinking water.

    Whoever came up with this idea is well-intentioned but ignorant of chickens’ needs and care. Please contact your state’s Cooperative (or County) Extension service for information on how to care for chickens in cold weather.

  4. martin w says:

    chicken can lift there fedders making bigger air space and those isolating better,by putting such a thing on them the probaply cant do that anymore and freede more as the would do without,its like pressing together a fedderblanket

    • Liane says:

      OMG you people are dumb. This is not for ‘free-range’ chickens, but ones that are kept in enclosed cages. No, the sweaters do not ‘mat’ the feathers, (not fedders), and they most likely are not worn all the time. Sweaters are also useful if the bird is over-grooming and pulls out feathers, or another bird does it to them. You don’t like it? Don’t use the sweaters.

      • Lindsay says:

        I just think they’re fun

      • Flo says:

        Liane–sweaters do not solve problems, only create them. Adult chickens are in much more danger from overheating than from cold. The person has to be there, be observant enough to see and interpret the behavior, and take the sweater off. How many chickens have that luxury? “Most likely” is not what I would want to rely on.

      • Christine Sylvester says:

        Dumb people would think of using these at all, regardless of how they are kept. It is quite clear that you have o concept of the damage to feathers, skin and welfare that these things cause. I suggest you do some research on the subject.
        The question of whether chickens need to wear jumpers comes up very frequently and we always advise against them.

        People see almost featherless ex-batts coming from the farms and their natural instinct is to do everything they can to protect them and keep them warm, including knitting cute sweaters for them.

        Not only are jumpers unnecessary, they are detrimental to feather growth and can be downright dangerous too!

        1. Chickens are very good at regulating their own body temperature. Wearing a piece of wool or acrylic will interfere with this natural regulation of temperature and when they get wet, will make them cold and uncomfortable. Imagine how you’d feel walking round all day in a wet sweater against your bare skin.

        2. Chickens are naturally inquisitive and as you probably know, can get everywhere. Jumpers can get caught on bushes etc and cause injury to your hen as she tries to escape. Hens are constantly preening and scratching – it is very easy for beaks and claws to become entangled in jumpers and the hen may find it impossible to disentangle herself. Jumpers inhibit dust bathing, which hens do on a regular basis to control parasites.

        3. Chickens frequently moult in the winter months as the cold air stimulates feather growth – adding this unnatural layer will interrupt the natural process.

        4. Newly emerging feathers have a blood supply, which diminishes as the feathers grow. At the new growth stage, the pin feathers also have nerve supply and are extremely sensitive – a jumper pushing against these newly emerging feathers will be very sore, cause damage to the new pin feathers, and make your chicken quite miserable.

        What you CAN do:

        a) Provide lots of bedding in the coop and keep that fresh and dry

        b) Ensure there is a wind proofed area of your run by putting tarpaulin or corrugated sheets, bamboo screen or even a beach wind break around the run.

        c) Add shelter in the form of a roof over one area of the run, helping your hens to keep dry.

        Jumpers are often provided with the best intentions but can have the worst outcomes if you want truly happy hens.

      • Teddi Millsap says:

        Liane, I have friends that have pet chickens who take them out in strollers, dress them, and do all the things i do with my cockatoo! I love it!!! All my chickens have sweaters lol. I am making them for my cockatoo!

      • Susan Everett says:

        No Liane, you are so dumb. I don’t care where you keep your chickens this is not healthy for them. Why don’t you try researching it before you call people names.

        • Angela M. says:

          Susan, you don’t have to be so rude. These chickens sweaters can help save lives and here you are calling people (Liane) names while you are saying that she is

      • Barb says:

        I totally agree with you Liane. When it’s 40 below zero, chickens do get very cold. My neighbor did what everyone says, just a building, draft free unfrozen water with a light bulb etc. She found 3 that have froze during the night, they were laying dead under the perch. That winter some chickens even had their toes froze off. She talked to a vet and he suggested making little jackets for them. That was 5 years ago and she has never lost another chicken, when the weather drops to 40 below.

        • Donna says:

          100 percent agree! And if you do use a chicken saddle for any reason it should probably be out of waterproof material. Wet saddles freeze!

        • Donna says:

          Somehow this posted to the wrong reply. I agree that chickens do not need sweaters. And if it’s 40 below they do need dry draft free areas and supplemental safe heat source to use if they see fit. It my area of Virginia it never gets that cold. On the last two rare zero degree days they chose to stay inside the dry draft free coop. Smart they are.

      • Eileen says:

        Enclosed cages? How does that work? People are not dumb at all – just compassionate towards animals – keeping them in ‘enclosed cages’ is cruel and are what most of us are trying to stop!
        And for your information – they DO damage the feathers.
        Clearly you are in a minority of dumb-clucks who do use them

  5. Switchet says:

    This is horribly dangerous for chickens because it prevents their natural ability to fluff up or defluff to self regulate their own temperature. You will actually mat their feathers down and stop them from fluffing up their down layer to keep warm naturally and they can freeze to death. Birds have feathers, they are not like humans, please stop this, it will kill birds in more severe weathered areas.

    Don’t want to beleive jsut me, read this information post made by people who have spent their lives raising the animals, vets who treat them and people who study them (birds)

  6. sande says:

    Bad idea for chickens. Chickens can ingest the yarn as well as the buttons, which in turn will cause their deaths.

  7. T Witton says:

    Chicken sweaters are the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Nature provides chickens with the ability to survive extreme temperatures given the correct environment – ie the ability to get out of the wind and rain and not be standing on freezing concrete. Mine have successfully navigated temperatures of -20F the past two winters and if you research information provided by professional and caring chicken owners you will find that they are very concerned about this new “fashion”. Covering them with unnatural clothing prevents their under feathers (down) from working properly, causing them to be colder than if they were not wearing a cover. The only time these should ever be used is if a chicken has undergone an unseasonal and aggressive molt or has been rescued from a battery farm. Please stop sharing these ridiculous ideas.

  8. kathie says:

    YIKES!! Not a good idea at all! PLEASE do NOT put something like this on your chicken. The poor girl will freeze to death. They must be able to fluff up into a big ball and warm their feet in order to survive the cold weather. Cute, but extremely bad idea from a practical standpoint.

    • tiger says:

      These sweaters are meant for chickens who are being attacked by other chickens who are pulling out their feathers leaving exposed areas of skin. There are also ones made of fabric for warmer temperatures. These are used extensively in England to protect the affected chickens. Also, hawks will not attack something that doesn’t look like FOOD. You need to get off your soapboxes and use your common sense. Do you need EVERYTHING spelled out to you?

  9. HyperTay says:

    Please remove this or at least put a disclaimer, chickens should not wear clothing like this, it inhibits their natural ability to regulate their own temperature by fluffing their wings. Your chickens could also catch this clothing on something in their living area and get hung up and get grievously injured or die. Anything like this apparel for chickens should only be used for photo opps and then removed. For the safety of the chickens!

  10. Madeleine Schineis says:

    Please read this and than reconsider
    We humans go way to far in managing nature and its creatures.
    If you make sure chickens have a place where they can hide from wind and rain they are just fine.
    We fill pillows and duvets and coats with bird feathers, and now you want us to believe a bird can’t keep itself warm?!
    What is wrong with people…..

  11. Deb says:

    Please stop sharing this idea, it needs to stop. The ONLY situation where a sweater would actually do any good for a chicken is when the poor thing has no feathers. A healthy chicken will fluff it’s feathers to trap body heat (as do all birds). A sweater would not allow her to fluff her feathers, thereby making her colder.

    • Tamera Graywolf says:

      Hello, and if I hadn’t seen this, I might have just given up and killed one of my hens, cause she is totally bald on her back all the way down to the point of the tail. I have got to do something to keep her from pulling her feathers out, and this is the only idea I have seen that might give her a chance.

      • GZIP says:

        Your hen may be molting, in which case the feathers will grow back. If there are too many roosters in with her they are probably the ones pulling out her feathers and you’ll want to reduce your rooster to hen ratio. Or, as mentioned in another comment, a “saddle” is a better idea:

        If she’s actually pulling out her own feathers you need to find out why (mites or skin disease?).

  12. trish browne says:

    hi any chance you have a pattern for this chicken 🙂 please

  13. Leslie D. says:

    Well said! The chicken sweaters are adorable, but are dangerous to a chicken’s health and safety. Chickens have lived and propagated for centuries without having a need for sweaters. Lol! Chicken owners, don’t do this to chickens in your coop. It’s not safe.

  14. C. Snyder says:

    I make something like this for a hen that was being picked on her back. It projected her until she re grew feathers in that spot.l

  15. Mousehunter says:

    I have kept chickens for many years. And almost every year there is at least one older hen that molted her feathers and didn’t grow them back. Once the weather gets cool / cold, too much of her energy is spent trying to keep her body warm and no energy left to grow the feathers she needs to survive the coming winter. When this happens, I put a sweater on the old girl so that she can put more energy into growing feathers. It doesn’t take but a couple of weeks. Her feathers start coming in and she stays warm for the rest of the winter. That’s the important part. Survival. (Don’t leave your chicken outside if it’s raining. The sweater will get wet and draw all body heat from the chicken, resulting in hypothermia and death.) Use your head and be smart when it comes to living creatures.

    • Evelyn Williamson says:

      Then Put her to Sleep – In the wild she would have died. She has served you well, reward her loyalty by giving her a dignified end.

      • MELINDA says:

        I am sorry but that is BS…. We have 30 hens and 1 rooster and he picks three hens that he likes and they are bald on the back. You should not act like an expert on execution if a fellow farmer has a limited budget and good layers (bald or feathered) and is trying to have egg production and offer some interventions….. just saying…. you may not know the details of this farm.

        • Eileen says:

          I am sure you are very knowledgable about making money from your beasts but perhaps you could use a rooster saddle for your girls, so he doesn’t tear them up?

    • Evelyn Williamson says:

      Those of you that don’t agree with this ridiculous idea, do as I have done and complain to the people that put these pages online – go to the ‘Contact Us’ tab and email them

  16. Jessica Hockett says:

    I’m pretty sure this is a joke! I can’t imagine anyone actually doing this.

  17. Shelly says:

    Look up chickens saddles on Pintrest or Fresh Eggs Daily or another trusted chicken keeper’s website or page. The roosters sometimes pick their favorite hen and her feathers get damaged from rough riding…..if you have the hen separated from others (especially the roo (s) her feathers should grow back just fine. A saddle can be used if she is pulling her own feathers out. Read about it. There’s lots of good info out there 🙂

  18. Jan says:

    A lot of the rescue centres like them for the girls they rescue as they can be in pretty bad shape. It may well give them a chance to grow their feathers in without having to expend energy on keeping warm.

  19. susan learned says:

    Ok…I want a tally. How many chickens have died from wearing the sweaters and how many chickens have lived having had their sweaters. Basic premise is….dont kill the chicken until youve figured out whether she wears a sweater or not.

  20. Debbie says:

    Dear Lord. No one is hurting anything. Chicken, sweater, picture, sweater off. Get a grip people. Do you eat chicken…? I’m guessing that will hurt more then taking a picture of a chicken in a sweater.

    • LYNDA MCMILLAN says:

      Thank you!!!!!!! These people have went nuts….Thanks Debbie, for telling them to get a grip…I was going to tell them,the next time they eat chicken,will they think about it wearing a sweater,,

    • Carole says:

      I actually thought it was a complete spoof and no one would ever put a sweater on a chicken. Pants yes, sweater, definitely not.

    • Barb says:

      Good one

    • Eileen says:

      Actually – no, I don’t eat chicken – I rescue the poor things when farmers have finished with them and they ARE in a terrible state! Some of them are oven ready. And I have never needed or used a jumper for any of them – I just make sure their sleeping quarters and run are warm and dry. They snuggle together to stay warm. never lost one yet.
      And yes – people are hurting hens with these unnecessary items.
      You see I do know what I’m talking about

  21. Sharon Hawes says:

    My thought, if the people who provide chicken sweaters to their chickens, must not know of anyone around them in need of food, they need their eyes checked or take off the blinders, God gave u a brain, left it up to u to use it.

  22. Camo says:

    Iam loving the comenta about don’t do this your chickens will die.. they don’t need to be warm. REALLY???? Please tell me your kidding or at least that you don’t have hens. Let see if your hens make it through -14 degree temp with 60 mph winds with out a HEAT LAMP or a sweater.

    • Squirrel says:

      My hens do fine in -20 F weather, high winds and with no light and no sweaters. How do you think they evolved? I assure you that they do better without our interference. One of the reasons they were domesticated in the first place was because they are so adaptable. My chickens develop fluffy under feathers if left without a light and also then don’t run the risk of succumbing to shock if the lamp disconnects or goes out. Not to mention so many people and chickens lose their lives and homes to fire from unnecessary heat lamps. People need to stop assuming everything needs to be pandered to and “helped” we just do more damage that way.

  23. Camo says:

    It is no more cruel then people dressing up their damn dogs.

  24. Camo says:

    Iam loving the comments about don’t do this your chickens will die.. they don’t need to be warm. REALLY???? Please tell me your kidding or at least that you don’t have hens. Let see if your hens make it through -14 degree temp with 60 mph winds with out a HEAT LAMP or a sweater.

  25. Darlene Echevarria says:

    Though they are just adorably cute, I agree 100% they will cause many more problems than they will solve. Everything you said makes perfect sense.
    But ya gotta admit they sure are cute!!! Lol

  26. Farmer heidy says:

    Yes soo true and thank you….for putting this out there . what is going on in this country?lol

  27. Annlee says:

    I don’t think anyone is being serious about putting these on their chickens and letting them run loose. So calm down, wow…. uptight much

  28. Fee says:

    I am not one for dressing up animals for vanity, but as someone who keeps rescued ex-battery hens, who have no feathers, bare chests, clipped beaks and wings, little jumpers like these are ideal for early days of recovery. My girls have never been outdoors before, so they protect them from the cold as they adapt to free-range life and to also protect their bare skin as they grow their new plumes – other hens can get a bit pecky at their bare skin. My girls have all thrived and have forgotten their sad pasts – these little jumpers are the least of their worries.

  29. Jingle says:

    Nobody is getting money off of this is do it yourself, which is what diy stands for. Have a little fun every once and awhile this is cute. Fuck.

  30. Nana says:

    Please purchase Rooster Booster, No More Peck for your chicken. Apply as directed on the missing feather area/bare skin. It is amazing stuff. You might also consider separately her from the abusive Rooster for a week or 2. Good Luck

  31. Dedge says:

    For heavens sake, this is for chickens who are most likely kept as pets, as many are now. The alarm and worry about this killing a chicken out in a chicken yard! Parrot owners who have birds that pluck have used methods like this on their birds to protect their skin. Common sense would dictate that a barnyard full of chickens wouldn’t be dressed with sweaters but for pets, no different than any other kind of pet animal.

  32. Mikajoe says:

    Depends on where you live my chickens will die from the cold if I don’t help them. It’s +20to+30 Celsius in the 3 summer here but it’s -20 to -50 Celcius in the winter. We have an insulated chicken Hut and heat lamps. Heaters have proven fairly ineffective energy suckered $$$$. Sometimes one doesn’t want to huddle with the others under the lamp and freezes 🙁

  33. Jessica says:

    How many chickens were harmed or killed from homemade sweaters? Thousands from all the comments lol

  34. Lila Sanchez says:

    The comments here by knowledgeable chicken owners are Great lol!! 🙂 I must add ” God made them Right the First time!!!”

  35. Lila Sanchez says:

    An excellent and balanced answer. There are exceptions when we must intervene and lend a helping hand. I once knew a sweet little red hen on a rainy night, I wrapped her in a dry towel and snuggled her in a nice dry box. Of course I knew her owners would let her out after the storm passed…. I named her Ruby…Healing blessings to all the little hens out there. 🙂

  36. Edith Reardon says:

    The problem appears that you are living in too warm of a climate for these sweaters. When if drops to -60F we don’t let the chickens out here and even with an insulated coops it can get darn cold. I might think about making these for a chicken up here unless you have somewhere that is heated to a much warmer temperature. Heat lamps really don’t cut it when it drops that cold.

  37. rhian says:

    I understand what people are saying here about the jumpers being unnecessary for well looked after hens but here in the UK they are knitted and donated to rescue battery hens and they are most appreciated by the Charities and the hens

  38. Magoo says:

    These were initially made for battery hens and rescues. They are also to protect thise who are injured or molt iff-season. They aren’t entirely horrible.

  39. Gary Merkle says:

    Ashley, I still think this would be a good Halloween costume for you. Hit like if you agree.

  40. Arachnae says:

    I agree taking this article with humor. These birds would look just silly in these things but they’re funny in a picture! If you’re truly concerned about them freezing then provide them with a heater or something. The harsh comments and arguing is just hilarious!

  41. Arachnae says:

    I am taking this article with humor. These birds would look just silly in these things but they’re funny in a picture! If you’re truly concerned about them freezing then provide them with a heater or something. The harsh comments and arguing is just hilarious!

  42. LaLana says:

    I LOVE THEM. What a great idea for chicks in need of temporary protection. What is up with all these people. NEGATIVE and not informed do to lack of reading all the info. That’s how KNOW IT ALL’S usually are. I have 5 girls that are sun burned and will probably not be ready for winter because they are missing so many feathers from the other chickens pecking at them and the rooster mounting them. I would love to get them these sweaters if I could afford them. I am going to have to try to make my own out of old sweaters since I don’t knit or crochet. I’m sure I will get comments with out them knowing my situation on what I must be doing wrong for my girls to be missing feather. bla bla bla…..

  43. Veronica says:

    This is not cruel. I have a parrot & in the winter time he wears a sweater and won’t let you take it off of him. He loves it.

  44. Stevie says:

    Your rooster pulled feathers out her back!? Maybe you should address your birds gender issues before putting silly coats on

  45. Roger says:

    Do you make duck sweaters as well?

  46. Kate says:

    I know the lady that wrote the pattern for this item (they may well be her pictures). The sweaters are for ex-battery rescue hens that have no feathers, not for feathered, healthy, and plump hens! It is designed to keep them warm while their feathers grow. It is not cruel, and if they are her pictures the hen is just a model and i can assure you is well loved! Fit and healthy animals don’t need clothes but ones that are below par need a little help sometimes.

  47. Chicken Farmer says:

    We put sweaters on chickens during the winter months because they are free range. They have a heating lamp at night when we take the sweaters off. They are also perfect for when a chicken is sick and they start to pull their own feathers. The sweater prevents them from self mutilating . Also it prevents the cocks from hurting the female during breeding. As they accidentally rip out the female feathers while trying to grip. Tell me again why the sweaters are bad? I guess people don’t understand unless they have a farm or own a few chickens themselves.

  48. Tom says:

    Snow? A chicken shakes off snow. A jumper would become soaked with freezing water from melted snow and then held close to core body heat. Like other flightless birds chickens have evolved not to migrate. This is one of the silliest things I have ever seen.

    Perhaps an injured featherless chicken could don one temporarily whilst kept under cover. The comments in the article recommending why they need to wear one are illogical. Chickens like to cleanse themselves by dust bathing how would this be possible. How restrictive.

  49. Janice Schultz says:

    Thanks for that information, I was thinking of making these for my daughter until I read your comments. Makes sense and will not make them now!
    Thanks again for educating us on the Chickens health. ( Never raised chickens before)..

  50. tom says:

    Geez there. Maybe the sweaters should only be worn for short time special events, like when mother hen is meeting a new rooster or something.

  51. Me says:

    I thought chicken sweaters were made for those birds rescued from the battery cage industry that have lost their feathers to help to keep them warm during their recovery til their feathers grow back? Not a fashion accessory!

  52. Robin says:

    Shelter from moisture and wind is the most important thing.
    Don’t forget these guys are insulated in feathers…think
    down comforter! Feathers need loft in order to be effective,
    so air space between the feathers is crucial. A sweater will
    crush the feathers, removing loft. If you’be ever seen a bird
    in the cold, they fluff up their feathers to stay warm. I shut my
    chickens into the coop with a heat lamp when it gets cold enough
    to freeze their water, and it stays nice and warm in the coop.

  53. Mjrn says:

    Geeze people, go hug a tree or something. You people take life way to serious. Smh

  54. Pat says:

    I raise chickens and the only parts of the chickens that are at risk of freezing are their comb and their feet. Maybe someone should knit them a hat and shoes! (I’m kidding!)

  55. Justin says:

    This is genius! I’m not sure why humans haven’t done this sooner. These poor chickens have suffered for centuries in the cold battling the elements, it hasn’t been a fair life. Thankfully some compassionate person has come along giving a voice to the voiceless. Praises to that man or woman! Those of you who say this is wrong shame on you and your inferior set of mind. Everyone should do this to all their chickens! Long live the chickens in warmth and comfort.

  56. Bird PhD says:

    When mammals breathe, chest muscles are activated to inhale, and then relaxed to exhale. Even in a tight hug, we can use our chest muscles to inhale air. Birds do the opposite. They relax their chest muscles to allow the chest to fall, which expands the lungs and draws in air. The muscles then activate to pull the chest upward to exhale air. If a bird’s chest is held tight against its body, it could easily suffocate. It cannot activate its chest muscles to breathe air in like we can. This is a concern when little children hold chicks and ducklings, since a tight grip can easily kill the birds. A concern with sweaters would be that if they are too tight, the bird could suffocate. Keep them loose.

    When a bird gets cold, it ruffles its feathers. This creates an air space between the bird’s body and each feather, which provides insulation against the cold. Here again, the sweater would need to be loose to allow ruffling of feathers.

    Birds pull oil from a preen gland at the base of their tail and then spread it on their feathers. Sunlight reacts with the oil and produces Vitamin D. The bird then ingests a portion of the oil when it does its daily preening and thereby obtains a source of Vitamin D. Commercial feed has plenty of Vitamin D in it, but if hens forage for themselves for all of their food, this Vitamin D acquisition from preening could be important at certain times of year. The oil applied on the feathers during preening also helps to repel water and keep the hen dry in the rain. The oil also helps each part of the feather vane stay in place for optimum function.

    Hens dust bathe and the dust that they work into their feathers helps to control parasites, such as lice and mites.

    In summary, keep the sweaters quite loose. Chickens should only wear them temporarily, like on special occasions when it is super cold or when going out on the town or to a show and there is a need to impress others.

  57. Shano says:

    You people need to settle down. I can see that they would be useful in winter where the chickens could use a little help overnight and remove them in the mornings. People need to get a grip. Go mow the lawn or something… find something useful to do and stop bothering other people who think this post is a harmless bit of fun, because we have brains and know that we need to remove them in the morning to prevent the chickens overheating or getting them all mucky with dust bathing. Geez, go read a book.

  58. Barbara Mathews says:

    I don’t understand why chickens are pets to some people. But that is me, growing up on a Iowa farm, chickens were raised for the eggs they produced and their meat.

  59. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this comment!!! I was naively considering these. Extra straw in coop and nest boxes instead I think! Mine are totally healthy, have all their feathers and it doesn’t get too far below freezing where I live so they’d be doing more harm than good.

  60. Bird Man says:

    Just be sure that the sweaters are not too tight. Unlike mammals, birds are not able to breathe when there is a lot of pressure against the chest.

  61. Roo says:

    These sweaters were designed by a lady involved in the rescue and rehoming of very weak, exhausted battery hens in the UK where the hens usually get slaughtered when they reach a year old. They come out of the battery cages sick and bald from enduring such awful conditions and the extreme stress they suffer. The chickens are provided sweaters to keep them from being shocked by the temperature change going from a hot stuffy building crammed with cages into a garden – when they are BALD. They wear them for a few months until they grow new feathers then the sweaters are removed to allow the birds to enjoy feathers for the first time in their lives. Do some research on rescue battery hens and please only put your hen in a warm covering if she doesn’t have her own NATURAL protection from the elements.

    • Jen O says:

      I get all my hens as ex-battery hens and I wish I would have had some sweaters for them. They come so bald and tired and thin. They are the sweetest hens though!

  62. Tim says:

    Someone needs to invent a chicken scarf for that nakedneck. 🙂

  63. Anne Kenney says:

    I think they are only for rescued battery hens in bad shape who’ve
    never been outside before. Dont leave them on all day just on very cold mornings. Freezing situations i think when feathers lost & no natural molt but they had been attacked in cages. Sometimes they need help its obvious they are freezing. They want to be outside too.

  64. Elisa says:

    Dressing up ur did is NOT CRUEL and if she wants to put a sweater on her chicken good for her it doesn’t matter she is putting her own chickens life at risk

  65. Your Majesty says:

    Learned a new w9rd from your posts. anthropomorphiz …. Will look it up momentarily
    Your posts were extremely informative*funny*and intertwining.

  66. Anita oakland says:

    Thank you kindly for this information

  67. BARBARA J WEAVER says:

    What do you do over the winter for chickens that have real feathery legs and feet. I heard that snow frozen on their feet feathers can cause frostbite?

  68. Cheryll says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. Thank you!!!

  69. John Bezanson says:

    This is the most disgusting and cruel animal post I have seen in some time. I ma calling the local animal abuse organization tomorrow. Please everyone do the same. Stop these CREEEPS from hurting chickens.

  70. Angie Ross says:

    That’s an easy one. You can cut off the sleeve of a long sleeve baby shirt to make a neck warmer (like leg warmer)
    But like others have said, use caution.

  71. Eggy pop says:

    When outdoor birds molt, they can freeze in low temperatures if they would otherwise be okay WITH their coats on. They are being promoted as a fashion accessory, but on the farms, it’s practical. It’s not cruelty when used for its purpose.

  72. Janet says:

    Some of these commenters are taking themselves too seriously! My girls would have fun making them and our chickens would wear one about 2.5 minutes. Not nearly long enough to impact their lives in any way…

    • Eileen says:

      Glad you think they’ll only be on 2.5 minutes – other people leave them on, thinking their hens need them – it is damaging to their feathers and your ‘girls’ should not be thinking of them in terms of entertainment.
      My ‘girls’ (3 & 8) go in to the coop and clean it and feed My Ladies, change their water. They cuddle them and bring them to me for their meds when necessary. They don’t need to knit them un-needed jumpers.
      Granted, in some very northern states in USA & Canada an exception might have to be made on a practical level as temps can plummet to -40c, but in the UK – never.

  73. Donna says:

    Whoever wrote this article is clueless and far from ‘responsible’. They’re not dolls and stupid jumpers like this do more harm than good. Whoever knits them would be better spending their time researching how to care for them. Perhaps should get an editor who bothers to check if articles are utter crap before printing them too.

  74. Go kill yourself says:

    I hate all of you

  75. Jane says:

    I though it was for chicken that had been rescued
    Had no feather. When the feather grow back they where to be take off!!

  76. Mary Wilson says:

    We have a electric heater in the coop that is surrounded by a metal case so chickens cannot get burned. We run heat on low when it gets into the 30’s F or below. Try to keep it warm but not hot. Last winter a few days it was so cold during the day that we keep the chickens in the coop. and covered the run with heavy tarp. A few hens started the winter with very few feathers as the rooster was over active and I think the other chickens picked on them too. I could have used some of these last winter when it got really cold. I need one for my hen who the racoon took bites out of her back and one exposed her vertebrae. I keep her in the house at night and in the dog yard during the day but that crazy rooster stands at the gate and stares at her for hours. First chance he jumps the fence and she runs into the house through the dog door to hide behind me and he follows her in and I have to run him out. Some times he catches her and the skin on her back is brittle and breaks. Something like this would work for her for protection.

  77. Michele says:

    I agree with You! It would be fun for the kids to do this! People are all like “it’s cruelty” as they are downing chicken nuggets…… my Lord. People call anything cruelty now. They are sweaters, not nooses!

  78. Eileen Nicholson says:

    This is a stupid and cruel idea! It damages the new pin-feathers coming through and catches the old broken ones. It is extremely painful to the hens – they do not need jumpers any more than a fish needs a bicycle! People, like the writer of this article, who know nothing about a subject, should keep schtum on that subject.
    People dressing up dogs is bad enough but these poor girls have already been through one hell – don’t need another!

  79. christopher riley says:

    never seen a chicken freeze to death. Some days, it is tough on them. Keep a heat lamp in coup for cold days.

  80. debi says:


  81. Anonymous says:

    Christ…take a look at yourselves! you are all arguing, swearing, insulting others, etc over a chicken sweater. this is quite obviously not meant for a barnyard full of chickens who wander outdoors. i own 30 + hens with two or three roosters. those chickens stay outside, throughout all the seasons and survive JUST FINE without sweaters or jumpers. occasionally, i will sew a small saddle out of fabric for the favorite hens. outside chickens do not need sweaters though, they are harmful. animals were made the way they were to adapt and live in the harshest or environments, to a certain degree. that being said, i hand raised two chicks from the time they were a day old until now, when they are about 5 and a half months old. i tried countless times to put them outside, and the one is so people friendly she would have basically panic attacks when she couldn’t find me and run across the road, looking for humans. she never went back in the barn and was subcummed to extremely cold weather until i found her once more and put her back in the barn. the other hen, she rarely left the barn and when she did she’d come to the doors of the house and beg to be let in. due to this, they are both pets. they live in the house with our dogs and cat, with whom they’ve formed relationships with. they are indoor chickens; they wear diapers. this is not harmful whatsoever to them. i change them every couple hours, and have never had any problems. they are much, much happier inside, with occasional time outside as long as i’m around. i still feed them chicken food, and they still act as normal chickens with the expectation of their living quarters, obviously. the point to this whole story is, these sweaters are obviously meant as accessories for INDOOR chickens. they aren’t meant for outdoor ones. putting one of these on a pet chicken, that lives inside, would neither hurt nor help them in any way. sits like the people who dress up their dogs or cats. and before anyone says, chickens don’t belong in the house. think of what dogs are evolved from. wolves. they’ve been domesticated and can live either inside or outside. chickens are domesticated, and can also live either inside or outside. studies have shown they are smarter than dogs, cats and four year old children. point being, this person meant no harm to anyone. there should be a note that states they aren’t meant for outdoor chickens, yes, but it’s no reason to degrade yourself and others over.

  82. Helen's Happy Hens says:

    I make hen saddles with “predator eyes” so they not only save your hen from over breeding, but they deter Hawks also!!!

  83. Jen O says:

    I LOVE this idea! This would be great for so many things! I had a sick chicken recently and the vet told me to keep her as warm as possible. We brought her inside by the wood stove and wrapped her in blankets. This would have been great!

  84. M says:

    John you’re so special. You don’t need to call animal cruelty for every stupid thing. If everyone worried about caring for kids as much as they do animals that can fend for them selves. The world would be a better place. Not everyone needs to be so serious loosen up and leave the city come see what the real country is like…cuz trust me you have no ideA.

  85. Freya says:

    Please don’t attack people because they have different opinions. Leane has made a good and peaceful point about using them – forceful advice given when it isn’t asked for is harassment, though that doesn’t mean your advice isn’t valid. And don’t tell Leane she’s “so dumb” and immediately afterwards tell her not to name call. That’s just immature ?

  86. SR Green says:

    Good grief. People need to get a life. If I want a sweater on my pet chicken I will by one. I’m not going to throw her out to the wolves in it. You people’s nosy, judgmental selves are tiring and a bore. The sweaters are adorable. I think I will get three.

  87. Melanie Walsh says:

    I have the same issue with a couple hens. I just keep them in when it’s below freezing. They seem to be ok, but my chicken house is very well insulated and we made a popcorn container into a heat source with a 100 watt bulb/light fixture inside (make hole in bottom to insert, then secure well) and large holes near top and affixed it under roosts. The top of tin stays on until the light bulb needs replacing. Hope this helps. It was an easy project if you can cut tin. Having a helpful hubby is a plus!

  88. Aoife says:

    Evolution. Evolution gave them feathers.

  89. Aoife says:

    Evolution. Evolution gave them feathers.

  90. Kaytlyn says:

    I’ve read a bunch of negative replies on this. And I completely agree with most of the information here. I’m in Idaho where it’s snowed twice and one of my little girls is going thru her first molt and is almost bald besides her wings and a little on her butt. I have her in a saddle right now but she’s still freezing in the dropping temperature. Gonna make this and give it a try. Don’t need my bird dying in these temps. If all else fails she can sleep inside. Thanks for the tips in the comments and this post.

  91. andrew james says:

    These sad humans should be put in a pen their self, in fact, the reason being anyone who puts this ridiculous wool garments on chickens most likely have the IQ of a chicken. sad humans indeed.

  92. Judi Castille says:

    Sweaters are only for quick moments to take photos of for help with charity donations etc. More a momentary fun aspect. Also for featherless chickens for a very short period if they need that support. I honestly wouldn’t believe anyone would leave these on free range chickens or allow their chickens to overheat. I use hen saddles on mine if a cockerel overenthusiastic. I might put a jumper on a house hen temporarily just to blog about her and encourage chat on welfare etc, as people respond to cute. Better to educate people about when not to put jumpers on hens rather than get personal.

  93. GoddessCMD says:

    Ok there is some really good information here. First off I have chickens…second…this post was for CHICKENS WITHOUT FEATHERS…but I guess people did not see that or just cannot read. If you have healthy full feathered chickens yes they do all the heating in the cold month and I live up north in New Hampshire and yes it can get. A lovely negative 50 degrees feigheight. At the moment we have girls that have been without feathers because of molting and then fighting…they are in their own house and yes they have heaters because of how cold it gets…but knitted items do not strike me as something for a bird because of their claws and beaks…their natural way is to scratch. And if they are fighting well to or the rooster is rough the saddle is a better option because it can be a tough material that does not snag ir get hung up on things…and ladies if you have ever caught your nail on something you get it. But maybe instead if using yarn maybe a different material would be better with that pattern…a non catching material or a felt…I am not a sewing person so I am not sure it that would work for the chickens safety. I do know that birds without feathers cannot fluffy themselves to stay warm…you try going outside naked in winter here and see if you don’t get frost bite…I think it was a good idea but nit a good material to use. For our no feather hens this would be a good temporary solution if a different material was used. Third, to all the people bashing this…why don’t you give ideas for solutions to help the featherless hens…instead of putting the idea down. Society is full off people that put others down rather than come up with alternative ideas as to how to help. Thanks for your time many blessings all! )o(CMD

  94. JEFFREY says:

    What about chickens who molt in the winter. It’s 10° outside and my favorite Easter egger has lost most of her feathers. She is obviously uncomfortable and a nice wool knit would help give her some much needed insulation. Sometimes ingenuity trumps the rules. Grow up and stop berating people with your crass remarks.

  95. Chickenlover says:

    Shut up brah

  96. Annileece says:

    For goodness sake, let people have there own decision! It’s THEIR animals! It would be a fun thing to do! Sweater on, take pic, sweater of!

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