Angela McClame has given four ex-battery hens a happy, free-range life at her Stanmore Bay property and says they are settling in nicely a year after she adopted them.
However, when one of them, Gobbles, recently began plucking out her own feathers Angela went in search of a local knitter.
“I had tried every possible way to help her stop but as fast as she grows new feathers she plucks them,” Angela says. As a last resort, Angela searched for a knitter who could make the hen a jumper to physically prevent the plucking. “I didn’t know jumpers for hens were actually available, but thought it was worth finding out. I was also thinking when winter comes, she’ll get really cold.”
As it happens, not only was a local knitter keen to help out – she had already knitted several hen jumpers. Pat Daw, a volunteer at CatsnCare in Stanmore Bay, knitted the jumpers for an animal sanctuary in Matakana but was only too happy to offer some of them to Angela for Gobbles.
Angela says the jumpers needed a bit of tweaking to ensure Gobbles doesn’t catch her foot in them. “They are very cute, including rainbow ones and some with fluffy bits,” she says. “They will be just what we need for the colder weather.”