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US retirees knit sweaters for winter chickens

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(13 Mar 2017) Knitting sweaters for chickens sounds like a joke, but a plucky group of retirees in suburban Boston has hatched a plan to keep poultry warm during the chilly New England winter.The unusual project began after elderly members of a knitting club at Fuller Village, a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts, heard about the hardships that some chickens suffer at this time of year.Certain breeds shed their feathers and grow new plumage in the winter months. Others imported from tropical climates just aren't suited to weather wintry conditions.Organiser Nancy Kearns says the project benefits chickens kept on a neighbouring estate known as the Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust.Estate spokeswoman Erica Max says egg production has jumped noticeably since the birds began wearing the sweaters."I don't think in my wildest dreams I ever thought anybody made sweaters for chickens," said Barbara Widmayer, 76, who started knitting when she was 15.Among the sweaters Widmayer crafted by hand was one for Prince Peep, a rooster native to Malaysia."There's so much going on these days that's kind of contentious in the world," she said. "It was actually very calming to me to work on this."Another knitter, 76-year-old Libby Kaplan, said the experience has helped her overcome a fear of birds.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4085557 c5aad9d67e8213a3660bb01c2df50752 US Chicken Sweaters Massachusetts United States Lifestyle
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