Last week whilst tweeting, I came across an appeal from the British Hen Welfare Trust, via Hen from heartandsoil.blogspot.com, my twitter bud, Shellybobbins and ACID, calling for homes across the UK to consider rescuing a battery hen.
From January 2012, the barren ‘battery’ cage will be abolished in the UK in line with the EU directive and as a result, hens will have to be removed from their barren cages by 31st December. Most British egg farmers have already made the switch to enriched cages, but a further 2-4 million hens currently in barren cages will still be heading for slaughter this Christmas.
To help highlight the BHWT’s appeal and to show people how they can rescue these hens, I’ve written a full article for At Home which you can see here. You can also get in touch with the BHWT via there website www.bhwt.org.uk.
I am very excited to announce that I have now registered with the BHWT and am planning to home a couple of hens very soon to join my spoilt ladies, Billy Bob and Scratchy. I’ll be keeping you updated on this as it happens.
But what if you can’t home a hen, how else can you help?
Here’s Hen from heartandsoil.blogspot.com to explain how else you can make a difference, including knitting hen jumpers*, yes, you read that right!
1) Spread the word about this UK WIDE MASS BATTERY HEN RESCUE! Tell everyone, tell your dentist, your mum, your Twitter and Facebook friends! There’s no time to lose!
2) Sponsor a hen! Visit the Battery Hen Welfare Trust and you’ll see you can sponsor a hen!
3) Make a jumper! These mass rescues are happening at the beginning of winter and it’s going to be a cold one, there are going to be plenty of cold, baldy hens. Lets get a jumper on ‘em!
Below are two patterns for Baldy Battery Hen Jumpers. If you can’t knit or don’t have much time, you could give the Easy Peasy Fleecy Jumpers a go!
When you’ve made your jumpers get in touch with the Battery Hen Welfare Trust to find out where to send them.
Easy Peasy Fleecy Battery Hen Jumpers:
Design from Little Hens Rescue
Dig out that old fleece jumper from the back of your cupboard or go to the charity shop & buy a couple of fleecy jumpers for a few quid. Then follow the Little Hens Rescue pattern below to make the Easy Peasy Fleecy Jumper for a Baldy Hen!
Baldy Battery Hen Jumper Knitting Patterns:
This’ is Nanny Norths’ Version and has an easier neck section
Taken from: www.hencam.co.uk/hencam_forum
Double knitting yarn (100g makes approximately 3 jumpers). 2 buttons each jumper
1 pair No 8 (4mm) knitting needles 4mm crochet hook
Jumper knitted in stocking stitch with garter stitch borders
Cast on 41 sts.
Knit 4 rows straight.
Tabs and button holes.
1/ cast on 10sts @ beginning of row. K14. P to last 4 sts. K4.
2/ cast on 10sts @ beginning of row. K to end
3/ (K2. yf. K2tog) 3 times. K2. P33. K14.
4/ (K2, yf. K2tog) 3 times. K to end.
5/ Cast off 10sts. K3. P33. K14.
6/ Cast off 10sts.K3. K2tog. K to last 6 sts K2tog. K4.
Dec. 1 st at each end on every following 6th row until 25 sts remain, keeping edges in garter stitch.
Divide for neck.
Work 11 sts. cast off 3 sts work to end and complete this half first.
1/ K to end
2/ P1. P2tog twice P2. K4.
3/ K to end
4/ P1. P2tog. P2. K4.
5/ K4. K2tog. K2.
Work next 4 rows straight.
10/ P2. Inc in next st. K4.
11/ K6. Inc in next st. K1.
12/ P1. Inc in next 2sts P2. K4.
13/ K to end.
14/ p7. K4.
Put these 11 sts onto holding pin.
Break yarn and rejoin to other side of neck.
Work to match, reversing shapings and ending at wing hole edge. Thats row 13.
Next row K4. P7. Cast on 3sts then from the sts on holding pin P7.K4.
Now K4. Inc into next st. K to last 5sts. Inc in next st. K4
Inc 1 st at each end of following 6th row until there are 41sts on needle.
Work 6 rows keeping to pattern
Knit 4 rows.
Sew on buttons. Work 1 row double crochet round neck edge if desired.
(can be found on Lucky Hens Rescue Wigan & Little Hens Rescue sites):
Pattern for Knitted Jumpers/Jackets.
Double knitting yarn (100g makes approximately 3 jumpers)
2 buttons or 10cm Velcro
1 pair of number 8 (4mm) knitting needles
4mm crochet hook
Knitted in stocking stitch with garter stitch borders
Cast on 41 sts,
Work 4 rows K
Increase for tabs;
Cast on 10 sts at beginning of next row, k14, p to last 4 sts, k4.
Cast on 10 sts at beginning of next row, k14, p to last 14sts, k14.
Work buttonholes; (work these 2 rows straight if using Velcro).
(K2, yf k2tog) 3 times, work to end keeping edges in garter st.
Repeat this row for buttonholes on the other tab.
Cast off 10 sts at beginning of next row.
Next row – cast off 10 sts, k4, p2 tog, p to last 6 sts, p2tog, k4.
Dec 1 st at each end on every fol 6th row until 25 sts remain.
Divide for neck;
Work 11 sts, cast off 3, work to end – complete this half first.
1) k4, p to end
2) cast off 2, k to end
3) k4, p to end
4) k2tog, k to end
5) k4, p2tog, p to end
Work 4 rows straight
10) K to last 5 sts, inc in next st, k4.
11) K4, p to last st, inc in next st.
12) Cast on 2 sts, k to end, (11sts)
13) K4, p to end
Break yarn and rejoin to the other side of neck.
Work to match, reversing shaping’s and ending at winghole edge.
Next row – k, cast on 3, k across sts from other side of neck.
Next row , k4 inc in next st, p to last 5 sts, inc in next st, k4.
Inc 1 st at each end of every fol 6th row until there are 41 sts on the needle.
Work 6 rows straight.
Change to gst and knit 4 rows.
Sew on buttons or Velcro as desired.
Work double crochet around neck.
photos courtesy of:
*PLEASE NOTE, since publishing this article, it has been brought to my attention that BHWT warn against putting rescue chickens in knitted jumpers as they can make them more nervous. As any rescuer of these lovely ex-battery hens will tell you, they are nervous enough, so it’s important not to add to their distress.