Two Kiwi chickens go viral after wearing winter jerseys to keep warm

Publish Date
Friday, 19 July 2019, 10:37AM

Two Wairoa chickens have gone viral thanks to their winter wardrobe.

Pinky and Princess Leia wear their own winter jerseys after owners Natasha van Dooren and Craig Gemmell discovered them in a Hastings SPCA Op Shop.

The petite jerseys were originally knitted for miniature dogs, but van Dooren thought they would be a perfect fit for her two beloved chooks.

"I went into the shop with my seven-year-old daughter and we saw the little coats and my friend has a little dog who wears them, so we bought one for her," van Dooren said.

"But when we were at the checkout I said to the lady 'do you think these will fit on chickens?' She said yes, so we picked out two for our chooks."

Photo / Supplied.

A nonchalant Princess Leia accepted her new outfit with as much grace as a chicken can have, developing a slight waddle before adapting to her new winter outfit.

"I couldn't help Craig get the other one on because we were laughing so much, it just looks like they're wearing little waistcoats."

The fashionable photo was posted on social media, with hundreds making suggestions for their own chooks.

Some expressed concern for the chooks welfare and movement, but van Dooren said the jerseys were moveable, breathable and they were able to move their wings with ease and could groom themselves as necessary.

"They really don't care and they don't wear them all the time, we only put them on when there's a cold snap and then take them off when it's sunny," van Dooren said.

"You just pop the jerseys over their head and help their little wings through and they're happy as Larry."

Photo / Supplied

The fashionable hens were rescue chickens, purchased from the local vet.

The chooks have been at their new home for about six months and their health has flourished.

"Pinky had barely any feathers when we got her, she was nearly bald and our daughter Madeline picked her name," van Dooren said.

"She's the boisterous one and chases the cat, whereas Leia is more of a follower."

Gemmell, a tattoo artist, often spots the pair strolling side by side for a morning outing on the streets of Wairoa, often shooing them back home.

"I'll be driving to work and I'll often see them walking up the street and I'll shout at them from the car and they turn around and go home."

From a tough life on the farm to a life of luxury, Pinky and Princess Leia have started a new kind of henergy in the world of animal fashion.


This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.