These chickens are more prepared for fall than I am! Chickens get cold too, and so lots of devoted chicken owners are dressing up their birds for the cooler weather in some adorable fall gear.
From colorful crochet sweaters to puff-ball hats, these are the most stylish fall chickens we’ve ever seen!
While some people are good with yarn and can make their own chicken clothes, others are turning to Etsy for the latest selections and styles.
It might sound like a new trend to you, but designers have been making stylish clothing for feathery fashionistas for quite some time now.
Some chicken advocates think that putting birds in sweaters is counterproductive because it takes away their natural ability to warm themselves.
You see, chickens fluff their feathers to regulate body temperature, but a sweater makes that process a little more complicated.
According to chicken enthusiast Daphne Cybele, “They trap pockets of air in the downy layers of their under-feathers, which insulates them quite well.”
Cybele wrote an entire article listing nine reasons why your chicken shouldn’t wear a sweater – even though it’s so very cute! Reasons on her list include:
- Sweaters may lead to a wet chicken if water gets trapped beneath the sweater
- Lice and mites can easily hide inside of a sweater
- Sweaters can interfere with the growth of pinfeathers, catching a new feather is similar to the feeling you or I get when we have a hangnail.
- Sweaters breed all kinds of germs that you bring into your home when you wash them.
- Prevents chickens from enjoying a good dust bathe
- Creates a colorful target for predators
Other chicken experts, such as Maureen Schmidt, who lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, strongly disagree. Schmidt believes chickens greatly benefit from wearing a cute knit sweater.
“Without adequate feathering, they can get quite cold, especially if they drop their old feathers all at once,” Schmidt explains.
Her mother knitted many cozy garments for her daughter’s chickens, all of which were specially designed with an opening for the head and wings, as well as a button to secure them around their bodies.
Schmidt hasn’t noticed the sweaters restricting the birds’ movements at all, and she found that they adjusted to wearing them rather quickly.
Erin Langston operates WhimsyofWillows, an online Etsy shop that sells adorable chicken clothing, and other awesome finds. Langston, who is based in Memphis, Tennessee, has heard the claims that sweaters aren’t great for chickens, but she doesn’t buy into it.
“I’ve heard the claims and they’re just that, claims,” Erin told Bored Panda. “I have never had any problems in the five years I’ve been using chicken sweaters. Chicken sweaters make people happy!”
Langston does warn that chickens should be carefully supervised while wearing any type of clothing.
“You don’t want your pet chickens to get injured so [their clothing should be something] that is easy to get on and get off. Chickens will outrun you.”
Still debating if putting your chicken in a sweater is a good idea or not?
Keep in mind, many rescue organizations dress their chickens up in sweaters. They are commonly used on battery hens, who are typically sold for slaughter after they stop producing as many eggs.
These birds live a very stressful life prior to being rescued and so they are often missing a lot of feathers. The sweaters help keep them warm until they are able to destress and regrow normal feather coverage.
“The hens usually come out of farms quite bald and can be underweight,” explained Miranda McPherson, who has knitted many sweaters for England’s Little Hen Rescue.
“They will soon fatten up and regain their feathers with the right care, but while they are waiting for their feathers to grow back, they can benefit from our knitted jumpers.”