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Retirees knit sweaters for chilly chooks

Barbara Widmayer adjusts a sweater for Prince Peep, a rooster native to Malaysia, at Fuller Village retirement home in Milton.
Barbara Widmayer adjusts a sweater for Prince Peep, a rooster native to Malaysia, at Fuller Village retirement home in Milton.Picture: AP

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 New England winter.

The unusual project started after members of a knitting club at a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts, heard about the hardships that some chickens suffer 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 for the wintry conditions.

Nancy Kearns, a resident of Fuller Village retirement home holds Prince Peep, a rooster native to Malaysia, as the bird is fitted with a sweater at the retirement home.
Nancy Kearns, a resident of Fuller Village retirement home holds Prince Peep, a rooster native to Malaysia, as the bird is fitted with a sweater at the retirement home.Picture: AP

Organiser Nancy Kearns said the project benefited chickens kept on a neighbouring estate known as the Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust.

Estate spokeswoman Erica Max said egg production had jumped noticeably since the birds started wearing the sweaters.

Ron Girouard holds Prince Peep.
Ron Girouard holds Prince Peep.Picture: AP

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