Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It's New to Me: Chicken Sweaters

Is a chicken sweater a novelty item for pet chickens or something savvy chicken owners crow about? Read on to find out!

I was perusing Etsy this morning and found the craziest product that I'll probably never need. Chicken sweaters!

Mind you, just because I'll probably never need a sweater for my chicken (because I don't own a chicken) doesn't make chicken sweaters weird. I mean, this could be the absolute best, most perfect, cutest, totally practical invention for chickens ever, something that any well-dressed clucker would rather go to the soup kettle than live without. It's just new to me because "dressing a chicken" is a phrase I thought belonged exclusively in the kitchen. Now I know better.

So, is this a novelty item for pet chickens or is it something that savvy chicken owners crow about? (Sorry.) I didn't really know, so I did some research.

Made to Order Crocheted Chicken Sweaters from CrochetItQuickAndSew on Etsy.
Jessica, one the artisans who crochets the chicken sweaters featured here (they're available in three sizes and your choice of a whole bunch of colors) says in her product description, "I love pictures of my chickens in their sweaters, it's fun!" I love the pictures, too, and had a lot of fun browsing through them again and again. (I think I'm getting addicted.) Based on the positive feedback from her customers, she sells a lot of these and people truly love them.

But, again, are they practical? Are they necessary? Do chickens really need sweaters? To find out for sure, I googled it (of course I did) and you know what I found? Dozens of pictures of chickens in sweaters! It was a virtual peep show! (Sorry again.) I also found Mother Nature Network and her answer to the burning question, "Does your chicken need a sweater?"

The answer in an eggshell nutshell: Yes! Well, maybe. Mother Nature says that many chicken owners claim that chicken sweaters actually do help keep their fowl warm during molting season, especially those chickens who lose most of their feathers at one time. The sweaters also help protect those chickens who are being severely pecked and injured by their barnyard bully companions. I was happy to learn that sweaters are often used for rescued battery hens, those birds that no longer lay enough eggs to earn their keep, often have scant feathers, and so are destined for slaughter. That was a very interesting fact that was also new to me.

Of course, the "just say no to chicken sweaters" crowd (they make some good points) declare that chickens have survived for centuries without sweaters and that most do just fine by ruffling what feathers they have and snuggling up in bunches to keep warm.

Chicken Sweater Crochet Pattern to download instantly from JasmineArtWorks on Etsy.
If you're a chicken owner then it will be up to you to decide whether any of your birds actually need a sweater. But if you're into fads, and taking pictures of chickens wearing sweaters certainly is one, then click this link for a huge selection of the most adorable crocheted and knitted chicken sweaters you'll ever see. Prefer to make your own? Here's an easy crocheted chicken sweater pattern with an instant download so you can get busy right away making sweaters yourself to properly dress your own flock.

So tell me, are chicken sweaters new to you? Does your chicken wear a sweater? Would it if you had a chicken? I'd really like to know!

18 comments:

  1. Yes the chicken sweater is new to me! Unique😀

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  2. I have never seen a chicken in a sweater either. Until now, I had no idea they existed. However, I don't really see them as any different than horse blankets. If I had a chicken that was missing feathers, I would most definitely think a chicken sweater was a necessity.

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    1. Especially in cold weather, right Cynthia? I actually thought about horse blankets, too.

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  3. When I was young, none of our chickens had sweaters. I can't even imagine what Dad would have said if someone had suggested it.

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    1. LOL I'm not sure what your dad would have said, but I do know the look on my husband's face when I showed him these chicken sweaters. Bet it's the same look your dad would have had! LOL Thanks, Barb!

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  4. LOL!! "well-dressed clucker" You have to have one these if your going take your chicken for a walk in the winter. If know anybody who owns chickens these would make a wonderful gift!!! Thanks

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    1. I'm with you on the gift idea! Now you have me wondering if there are special collars or harnesses for walking chickens... Thanks for stopping by, Sam!

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  5. Oh these are so cute! Definitely not something I've ever seen, but I do know a couple of chicken owners who would probably find these sweaters hilarious gifts :)

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    1. For the chicken owner who has everything! Great idea!

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  6. I'm sending this on to my best friend who has a friend who has chickens.....maybe I'll make a sweater to send with this article...It's totally new to me, but really cute!

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    1. A chicken sweater to send would be such a fun idea. If you do make one and send it, let me know how they like it (both the chickens and your friends)!

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  7. Oh my gosh... I can't stop laughing. Horses have blankets, dogs have coats...but a chicken in a sweater just makes me laugh. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. LOL So glad you enjoyed this new (to me, too) fashion statement!

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  8. I can certainly see the need for these sweaters for rescued battery chickens who often have few feathers when they are first rescued. I think that may help them especially when its cold. I haven't kept chickens but if I did and any of them felt the cold, or were being pecked, I would do what I could to keep them warm - even a chicken sweater :)

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    1. At first chicken sweaters seemed like a cute fad, but I've learned that the sweaters have a very important function, too. Thanks, Jasmine!

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  9. I'm happy to admit that I checked the date of this post. I thought it might have been an April Fool's joke! Apparently not - but you certainly made me smile. :0)

    Never heard of these. I had no idea!

    What are the feathers for if not keeping the chickens warm!My brother-in-law has a couple of chickens in his large back garden. I'm going to check with him.

    Thanks for a good laugh!

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    1. Hamish, I hope your brother-in-law can enlighten you on the need (or not) of sweaters for chickens. You know, sometimes truth is stranger - and funnier - than fiction! Thanks so much for your comment!

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