Mandy Watts, 55, Toowoomba, Qld shares her story
Scrolling through Instagram, I chuckled at the sight of my friend’s hen, Fatty, who was wearing a colourful cowboy hat.
I know what Fatty needs now, I thought, getting out my crochet hook and making her a crown and beanie.
I’d always been a good knitter, creating jumpers for my family, and after watching some YouTube clips on constructing clothes for Barbies, I figured out how to adjust the pattern for chooks.
“I love them!” my friend cried when I sent my handiwork over.
It was just a bit of fun, but I enjoyed it so much that I made more hats, modelled them on my 10 chooks and uploaded the images to Instagram.
Followers soon commissioned me to make some for their chickens, too.
Of all the hats I’ve made, some highlights are an elephant one for a chook in Florida, an Uncle Sam top hat for a turkey in Oregon, and an alpaca hat for a feathered friend in California.
But my absolute favourite is the Plucka Duck wearing Molly Meldrum’s Akubra. I liked that one so much I couldn’t sell it!
I grew up around chooks and, as a little girl, was more interested in having my own coop than a doll’s house.
My love of chooks has been a constant in my life, helping me when times are hard. In the space of five years I lost my only sister
Trudy, 38, my father Des,64, and my son, Adrian, 18.
It’s strange to think chickens can help with grief but they really calm the mind. Just watching them pecking away in the garden
makes me smile.
I now run ‘Here Chook Chook’, a site for chicken-lovers and hope to continue brightening the lives of my beloved birds and their owners for as long as I can.
Follow Mandy on Instagram @herechookchook.