AN ANIMAL-lover has come up with an egg-cellent business idea – knitting jumpers for cold ex-battery chickens.

Jane Blain, from Eynsham, has launched her own ‘haute couture’ range of chicken jumpers, which are on sale for £7.50.

Mrs Blain, a holistic healer, first hatched the idea for animal clothes in December when her long-haired chihuahua dog dropped its fur and was left shivering in the cold winter weather.

Ms Blain shrank old woollen jumpers in the wash to make into pint-sized sweaters for her beloved pet.

She said: “A friend of mine, Maureen, liked the idea so much she asked me if I could make her something similar for her hens.

“Apparently their feathers had fallen off, which to me sounded perfect for an oven-ready bird. But she said they were getting quite cold.

“I know it seems a bit of a strange thing to sell, but there seems to be a market for it.

“A chicken is quite a funny shape, kind of like a funnel, with a narrow head and neck, and a wide body, so, I must admit, it took me a few attempts.”

The brightly-coloured result, as modelled, above, by Snowdrop at the Eynsham Country Market, in St Leonard’s Church Hall, measures roughly nine to 10 inches long.

The garment is knitted out of a fluffy ‘eyelash’ wool, with specially designed wing flaps for extra comfort.

They are available in a range of colours including pink, purple and red.

Mrs Blain added: “My daughter Catriona is now adamant that we will get chickens of our own to model the jumpers.

“But I think that with having three dogs, it’s probably not the best idea.”

Maureen Sears, from Northmoor, near Witney, commissioned the first jumpers for her six ex-battery hens which she bought from a rescue home.

She said: “I think they are just brilliant. One of my chickens, Snowdrop, really enjoys strutting around in her little sweater.

“The battery hens are used to being squashed up against each other for heat so when they come out they do get a bit cold. They often lose their feathers too, so this is the perfect solution.”

The Chicken Sweater costs £7.50 and is available at the Eynsham Country Market, held every Thursday morning at St Leonard’s Church Hall, or directly from Mrs Blain, on 01865 731563.

Mrs Blain also takes commissions for bespoke chicken knitwear via email on