Former battery hens who now live at Pets’ Corner in Abbey Park have received knitted Christmas jumpers after feeling the cold this winter.
Textiles students from Sir Jonathan North Community College, picked up their knitting needles when they heard about the four chickens, who had lost feathers, due to the stressful conditions they underwent in the past. This has left the chickens more susceptible to chilly temperatures.
But thanks to the knitting team, the chickens are now enjoying their very own Christmas jumpers. The team leader of design technology at Sir Jonathan North Community College, Liz Stanton, stated; “when I asked for volunteers to knit jumpers for chickens who’d lost their feathers, every hand went up!”
“It was a great opportunity for our lunchtime knitters to put their creative skills to the test and make something practical – and suitably festive – to help the chickens stay warm this winter.”
“It also raises issues about animal welfare in a really fun way for the children”
The four chickens, along with all the other animals, can be seen every day in Abbey Park. The winter opening hours are from 7.30am until 4pm, so be sure to come along. Chickens in winter woollies, really is a sight not to be missed!
Area parks manager Mark Harding, who looks after Abbey Park and Pets’ Corner, said; “we regularly take in hens that have spent a long time in battery cages – and when they arrive at Pets’ Corner, they need a bit of extra care.”
Mark went on to say; “although they quickly respond to all the love, care and fresh air they get in Pets’ Corner, they don’t always manage to grow all their feathers back – and that’s why these specially designed woolly jumpers will be a great help in keeping out the winter chill.”
“After 18 months the hens are generally destroyed because they don’t lay enough eggs, so we have rescued them” said Pets Corner operative, George Burton.
The chickens’ home at Pets’ Corner could receive a £50,000 bonus, if local people give their support on Wednesday 26th November. Pets’ Corner will go head-to-head with a project in Mansfield for the People’s Millions’ prize, with members of the public voting for the project they think most deserves to win the funding.
If Pets’ Corner’s is successful in this vote, the money would fund a major refurbishment of the site. The range of improvements would be beneficial for visitors, as well as the goats, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds that live there.
Voting for this will be by phone. The voting line number will be announced on 26th November on www.leicester.gov.uk/petscorner. The lines will open at 9am on Wednesday for voting and will close at midnight. So make sure to have your vote.