Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hen Sweater

I have quite a flock of free-range chickens on my farm- probably around 75 or so. My main breeds are Delaware, Rhode Island Whites, Cochins, and Buff Brahmas. I also have some Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. One of the problems with having roosters, (other than when the crow right outside the bedroom window) is that the hens they have chosen as their favorites, become bald along their backs. Some even end up with sores and with the upcoming winter, I have been concerned about them getting cold. So after a little research, I found the Little Hen Rescue's site, with patterns for hen sweaters out of fleece and knitting: http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/jumpers.aspx. Personally I prefer crochet, since I can complete projects quickly and I needed to make several sweaters. So I came up with a crochet pattern myself and have already made 4 hen sweaters. The hens get used to wearing clothing surprisingly quickly, and I hope this saves their backs and maybe they can regrow their feathers. I am posting my pattern if anyone has the same problem, just wants to put a sweater on their hen, or wants to make some to donate to the Little Hen Rescue.



Hen Sweater

Yarn: worsted weight
Hook: H/8 or size needed for gauge
Gauge: 14 sts = 4 1/8”. 12 rows = 4”.


Ch 29 loosely, leaving an 18 inch tail.
1) Sc in second chain from hook and in each chain across. Ch 1, turn. (28 sc)
2-4) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
5) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (26 sc)
6-8) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
9) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (24 sc)
10-12) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
13) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (22 sc)
14-16) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
17) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (20 sc)
18-20) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
21) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (18 sc)
22-24) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
25) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (16 sc)
26-28) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
29) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (14 sc)
30-32) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
33) Dec sc in first two sc, sc across to last 2 sc, dec sc. Ch 1, turn. (12 sc)
34-35) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
36) Sc in each sc across. Ch 4, turn. Ch 4 counts as first treble crochet.
37) Tr in second and third sc. Sl st around post of last tr made. Sl st in next 7 sc. Ch 4, tr in last 2 sc. Ch 4, turn.
38) Tr in second and third tr. Ch 6. Tr in last three tr. Ch 1, turn.
39) Sc in each tr and chain across. Ch 1, turn. (12 sc)
40-41) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
42) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (14 sc)
43-45) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
46) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (16 sc)
47-49) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
50) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (18 sc)
51-53) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
54) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (20 sc)
55-57) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
58) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (22 sc)
59-61) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
62) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (24 sc)
63-65) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
66) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (26 sc)
67-69) Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
70) Sc twice in first sc. Sc across to last stitch. Sc twice in last sc. Ch 1, turn. (28 sc)
71-74) Sc in each sc across. Cut yarn, leaving 18 inch tail.

Finishing: Fold in half, matching sides. Using yarn tails, stitch up the sides at the bottom about 3 inches, leaving the rest of the sides open for the wings. Weave in ends.

29 comments:

Split Rock Ranch said...

What a great idea! Wish I had chickens again. Maybe I'll sneak some in when hubby isn't looking next spring!

Jillian said...

OMG that is precious, I would never have even thought.

susannah eanes said...

That is really sweet. I love my chickens and haven't replaced my roosters since the last one died of old age, so don't have this problem (and my roos were mostly gentlemen because we ate the meanies lol) BUT I love this idea and will probably make some to send to the rescue site. Thanks so much for posting!

wolfcrochet said...

How unusual! And what a great idea.

lala82633 said...

a rescue for chickens? I LOVE THIS SITE! i lost my old rooster few years ago; can't live without that crowing...so rancher gave me one-only has one eye but HEY! it crows! everything here is living out their lives; nothing gets eaten. but i love your sweater...i had a site couple years ago that had 'chicken diapers'! too much!!

Theresa said...

How perfect! A friend just emailed me asking me to help her hen. She's molting and we've just had a terrible snow storm/cold snap. So, google to the rescue and look what I find! How fortuitous!

Anonymous said...

4 sweaters down... 71 to go.
rediculous

Elizabeth said...

Great to see you back on the blog wagon! I've missed your posts!

Nuthatchinator said...

I've tried to make those! Thank you! I'm a little puzzled as to how you put them on the hen and how they stay on. We have a pecking issue here! :-(

123 123 said...

Great story you got here. It would be great to read more about this theme.
BTW look at the design I've made myself Young escort

Gwen said...

you. are. awesome.

Kimberly Ann said...

I love these! Do you leave them on all the time or just during the day (or evening)? How often do you clean them? Do the other hens peck at the sweaters?

Aphrus said...

THANK YOU so much for the crochet pattern. I have been searching and searchering and all I have seen is knit (which I do not know how to do). This is fantastic! Domino (my plymouth rock hen) will be so grateful as she is the bottom of the pecking order here and naked (her back). Much love! Aphrus

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azurelunatic said...

These are lovely! They seem much better-suited to henwear than the doll skirts I used to inflict on some of the special pets in my childhood flock.

pattyj said...

I made your pattern but am having trouble understanding how this goes on the bird. I cannot tell from the picture as it does not show anything on the front of the bird. Please help me?

Hook-U-Up Custom Crochet said...

This is so interesting, that I tweeted it! And I shared it with a friend of mine on etsy.

Deborah said...

I absolutely appreciate this post ! Oh my Barred Rock girls are low on the pecking order bless their little bald backs. Thank you so much. Little Utah Farm

Hope Demain said...

Someone found this for me - I was complaining because I only found knitting instructions and can only crochet! Thank you so much for posting this. I have many beloved chickens too (not as many as you though) and a few that need some outerwear. :)

armygirlvet said...

This is totally awesome! We don't have a roo (local ordinance) but I have an Ameracauna that is being bullied by one of my RI Reds. Poor thing only has one tail feather now! I'm going to crochet this and see if it helps.

Pam said...

First, love your blog and all the photos of your place, family, and animals. Second, was grateful to find your pattern before Christmas as I was asked to make two hen sweaters through my Etsy shop. Tried to find your Etsy shop, but got the message that it was down for maintenance. If you have time to visit my shop, www.bagsandmorebypam.etsy.com I would like to ask a question about your hen sweater pattern. You can contact me through there. Thanks.
Pam Todd

Sherry and Dennis said...

Hi- I'm enjoying your blog. Please check out my farm blog. We have a small hobby farm with critters.

http://SherDenFarm.blogspot.com

Maureen Webb said...

Hi, I have a hen who is 'self-harming' Seriously, Matilda has issues. She is a real character though and I would love to make her a jacket as she is vitually bald everywhere she can reach to pecl. I can crochet, but our terminology and abbreviations here in the UK are different to yours. Could you please explain the terminology? I can guess that sc is single crochet, ch is chain, tr is treble, but the other abbreviations I am lost with. Thanks. My email is info@wte-ltd.co.uk

Elf Spencer said...

I'll translate, A for American, B for British
A Slip Stitch (sl st) B Single crochet (sc)
A Single crochet (sc) B double crochet (dc)
A half-double crochet (hdc) B half treble (htr)
A Double crochet (dc) B Treble (tr)
A Triple crochet (tr) B Double Treble (dtr)
A Double triple crochet (dtr) B Treble treble (trtr)

Hope that helps!

RenJac1301 said...

lol, i am making my Miss Moe one in Pink camo :)

Sherry and Dennis said...

I found your wonderful blog. I wonder if you would like to become e-pals? We live at Bloomer, WI. on a small hobby farm. I love writing often on just daily, run of the mill life on a farm with family and animals.

Here is my blog so you can see what my life is like.

http://SherDenFarm.blogspot.com

If interested in writing me, here's my e-mail address.

jersey@citizens-tel.net

Sherry Ruff

Kay Maher said...

Thank you!! I did not want to pay someone else to make me 'henjackets'. I don't like to sew, but crochet is another story! Now my hens won't have to worry about being picked on! Thank you again!!

Tamara - Moogly said...

I’m putting together a chicken themed roundup for my blog, Moogly, and I was hoping to include a link and photo for your pattern (just a link and photo, not the whole pattern!). Please email me and let me know if you’d rather I did not include it. Have a great day!

Tamara
www.mooglyblog.com
TamaraKelly@mooglyblog.com

Aislynn's mom said...

How do u put it on! ..? There is no hole for head?