Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Things that make me go "Hmmm."

Hen cosies, for one thing.

Here's the deal: in England, people have been getting quite concerned about the conditions in egg-laying factories (I refuse to call them farms -- farms are places where chickens wander about, getting into the garden and laying eggs out in the fields and such).

Justifiable -- the hens are kept in "batteries" of cages, where they just lay egg after egg, until they are "retired" once they can lay no longer.

These days, it has become all the rage for animal lovers to adopt retiring hens, allowing them to live the rest of their days in back gardens all over England.

Problem is, the hens are, well, bald. They lose their feathers in the batteries, you see. And so they must be kept warm -- and that's where the hen cosies come in. You just have to know that where people are adopting chilly chickens, there must be other people who will step up and knit the chickens wee jackets to keep them warm until their feathers grow in.

I cannot decide whether this is inutterably sweet, or inutterably silly. A bit of both, perhaps. Though I'm sure the hens don't think so.

Another item from the "Hmmmm...." Files: stainless steel yarn. Actually, it's stainless steel and silk, and it knits up into a slightly offbeat fabric, slightly shapeable -- last summer's Knitty had a sweater from this yarn, "Sea Tangles," that was both jaw-droppingly odd and fascinating to contemplate.

What I was thinking was this: I wonder how that stuff would fare at an airport security checkpoint? Fun or nightmarish?

Just a thought.


Kathleen Taylor said...

I'm thinking that there was a drive for penguin sweaters a few years ago (for penguins affected by oil spills) and they were so innundated by ps's that they had to beg people to stop knitting them. I suspect it'll be the same way with chickenwear.

It might be fun to do- a little cabled thing for a Rhode Island Red.
p.s. around here, when the chickens are too old for laying (in the egg factories), they end up in soup (Campbells, specifically). no retirement at all.

redqueensrace said...

I heard about that when some friends of mine adopted some ex-battery hens that were indeed bald. Their feathers grew back after a while and they look like perfectly normal chickens now (to my admittedly untrained eye!) My friends were also told those hens were past laying but they produce eggs like clockwork. And really good eggs they are!

Stacy said...

No hen sweaters in my knitting future I don't think. But, after reading Kathleen's comment, I am craving soup for dinner. Hmmm...