A hospice has come up with a cracking idea to help two of its therapy hens which are being bullied.
Alice House Hospice, in Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, is appealing for keen knitters to make little jumpers for hens Paxo and Martha - who are being bullied by two other hens at the coop.
The hospice received the four hens last October after linking up with charity Equal Arts which has a branch called Hen Power to provide therapy sessions for people - based around the fun creatures.
But trouble began brewing in the roost after Paxo suffered a leg injury and Martha began to get a bald patch, making them easy targets for the others.
Fundraising manager Rebecca Jobson explained: “We got a grant to pay for sessions with a therapist who comes in and does different activities with the patients which have the hens as a focus. Patients do things like creative writing, crafts and signing.
“They do different things each week with the hens as the focus.
“Patients even get involved in looking after them and the hens also lay eggs. They have been quite a success and everybody loves them.”
She added: “But Paxo has suffered a leg injury and is now limping, while Martha has been getting little bald patches. “This has meant they are getting picked on by the other hens.
“We have tried any number of things but have decided to try and appeal to get Martha and Paxo some special hen jackets made to conceal their weaknesses.
“Hopefully put a stop to the mistreatment from the other hens.”
The hospice has put up knitting patterns to make the jackets on its website and Facebook page and is appealing for keen knitters to pick up their needles and help.
Rebecca, who has been at the hospice for ten years, said: “We don’t want them to be taken away.
“We are not sure how good the little jackets will be for the hens so we are working with Hen Power who we will be speaking to them as we have been told that the jackets might not be that safe.
“But in the meantime we thought it was worth putting the call out to see if anybody wants to get knitting.”
To view the patterns visit: http://www.alicehousehospice.co.uk/…/stitcheryprojects.com
For more information please contact Rebecca Jobson at the hospice on: firstname.lastname@example.org or: 01429 855581.