Woman Knits Sweaters for Battery Chickens

The world is so in need of feel good stories, stories that reaffirm humanity’s capacity for goodness, kindness and compassion, so let me bring you the story of Nicola Congdon, who knits little woolly sweaters for re-homed battery chickens.

Nicola, a 25-year old Brit, loves chickens and loves to knit, so when she adopted a handful of ex-battery chickens who obviously had a harder time with the English winters than her free-range chickens, she decided to combine her two loves and knit woolly little jumpers for her new feather-challenged friends. That is all fine and dandy, I thought, but how do you get a sweater on chicken?! Her response: It’s really quite easy. They just stand there and you slip the sweaters over their heads.

Battery chickens, named because industrial egg production maximizes profit by cramming rows and rows of cages together like cells in a battery, are ill-equipped to deal with outdoor winter weather. These stressful conditions are not conducive to good health, and as a result, most battery chickens have fewer feathers.

Nicola has about 60 chickens and about half of those are rescued battery hens. “It is important to make people aware of the poor conditions the hens live in and the fact that they have no feathers when they are retired,” Congdon said during an interview with Mashable. “The tank tops are also something really different that provide some fun for the chickens. They keep them warm and makes the chickens easy to identify.”

Nicola and her mother, Ann, now receive special requests for her little woolly sweaters from hen-keepers around the world. But instead of selling the knitted tops for profit, she directs the money to an AIDS orphanage in South Africa.

So, when you go to bed tonight instead of thinking about all of the challenges facing our planet and humanity, think instead of Nicola’s chickens strutting around in colorful little jumpers.


Past Member
Past Member 2 years ago

Peut-on en acheter ?

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Carole H.
carole H3 years ago

When I first read this I wasnt sure but as she only leaves the jumpers on for half an hour thats ok so the hens can groom their feathers.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

What a great idea. Her hens don't look as scruffy as some of the ex- battery hens I've seen though.

LF F3 years ago

Next, booties? lol....Glad those poor animals don't have to cold and miserable

Effra W.
Effra W3 years ago

Aw, bless Nicola and her Mum. Battery farming should be banned outright everywhere. Thanks for sharing.

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

Must say .. this is the first time I have seen a chicken in a sweater. It's a cute idea, though. By the way, the one in the mint green vest is a rooster, not a hen. They're all chickens.

Ake Lindberg
Past Member 3 years ago


Beverly C.
Beverly C3 years ago

Great story. It's wonderful that especially THIS time of year to read such a heart-warming and inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!! And have a Merry Christmas or Happy Hannukah, whichever! God bless....