Battery hens is a term used to define chickens that have been squashed into wire cages where their sole purpose is to eat, sleep, and lay eggs. The callous conditions these birds are placed in have horrified consumers, many of whom now buy free-range eggs as a form of protest. But, Nicola Congdon takes her activism a step further.
According to reports in the media, the 25-year-old from the UK has spent the last six months knitting sweaters for battery hens that have been freed from their cages. Because of their indoor confinement, the hens are never given the opportunity to acclimatise to the various seasons, making winter months potentially fatal.
Speaking to Mashable, Congdon explained the importance of the sweaters: “It’s important to make people aware of the poor conditions the hens live in and the fact that they have no feathers when they are retired. The tank tops are also something really different that provide some fun for the chickens. They keep them warm and makes the chickens easy to identify.”
Congdon’s creations have become so popular that other activists have ordered them for their own rescued chickens. She donates the proceeds of these orders to Primrose Project, a South African orphanage dedicated to HIV-positive, abused, or neglected children.