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Hen turtleneck sweater/saddle with neck protection

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

A few days ago I posted a reply to an OP who was relating a sad tale of a hen getting picked bloody. I posted a pic of three hens in sweaters. Everyone probably considered it a joke.

 

But hen sweaters are a very real alternative to regular hen saddles made of cloth. I had my neighbor, who crochets, knit one up for my BB Joyce who is constantly picked bald by the other hens, especially her neck. The fit is amazing and Joyce got used to it far more quickly than other saddles because it fits so snugly. There are no clumsy fasteners - just pulls on, wings first, then in goes her head, folding the excess over like, well, a turtleneck!

 

The patterns can be found on the internet.

 

I think Joyce looks singularly stylish, don't you?

LL

One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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post #2 of 17
She does! I hadn't heard of those. Great idea. Love the look!

Lay down with dogs and you get up with fleas.


Love those Orps!

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Lay down with dogs and you get up with fleas.


Love those Orps!

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post #3 of 17

I love it!  It looks so pretty on her.  I wish I had known about these years ago when my duck got over-mated to the point of permanent scarring.  A typical apron would not have worked because the worst of the damage was on her neck and back of her head.  I now have a group of 5 Khaki Campbells, who all look exactly the same except for her.  I can always tell her apart from the rest due to the scarring along her head and neck.

 

Great idea!  Thanks for posting it.  Your neighbor ought to sell some of those.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I told her she could sell them! I wonder what people would pay for one. She says it takes about two hours to complete a sweater.

 

I like the sweater better than the cloth saddles because the sweater doesn't shift of get folded up, leaving the back exposed. The best thing is that they can be crocheted in any shape or size. They could be extended down the breast area to protect bald tummies. That's the hardest area to sew a cloth saddle for.

One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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post #5 of 17

Dear Azygous

I am desperately looking for a pattern for a hen sweater like the one above.  I have searched and searched the net looking for one like this with a "turtleneck" to no avail!  Is there any way you could please ask your neighbour where she found the pattern?  Both I and my poor chickie would be eternally grateful!  I am quite good at crocheting – I would love to make you (well one of your girls) one too to thank you for your time!

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Nessy - my neighbor used an existing pattern on the internet and improvised the turtleneck by extending the rows of stitches upward, decreasing them as she got to the top. I had her make it about eight inches long so I could fold it over because we all know how chickens telescope their necks.

 

By the way, the hen pictured appears to be very cute and fashionable in her sweater, but she hated it and pulled all the stitches out trying to get the thing off. I had my neighbor modify it to a simple neck gator that I slipped over her head, but she unraveled that, too. 

 

She is now sweaterless and even balder than before. She refuses to wear a saddle of any sort, and is so preoccupied trying to get out of it, she even forgets to eat. I gave up.

One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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post #7 of 17

I'd isolate her & up her protein & let her grow her feathers back. You can find the culprit thats picking on her & isolate her/ him as well this will throw the pecking order off & might save your chicken from getting pecked on. I did this & it worked for me.

I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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I'm out of eggs. But I know where some brown ones are. I now raise big Ol' Honkin' Bob Whites & Layed back Coturnix. Pray For Rain In Texas!

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post #8 of 17

Thanks for that Azygous - I really appreciate you getting back to me so soon with all that info.  I don't know if it would be any help but my girl who was a battery hen and was quite bald and the others would peck out any new growth (the one who I want the turtleneck for) was prepared to wear a saddle - here is the Ebay link to the one she wore...

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170862495936

 

It took a couple of days for her to get used to it - but I am not sure about your girl - she does sound like a difficult case.  At the moment I've cut up an old sock and popped it on her neck.  It doesn’t sit very well - and she didn't like it at all at the start - but seems to be ok now (it was only yesterday!).  I am so sorry to hear about your poor bird - 7L Farm's suggestions sound good.  These birds are a trial but we love them so much!  It is awful to see them suffer (or look bald!).  Let us know how you get on!  All the best Honey xxx

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I had another hen like my turtleneck girl - both persistently bald and lowest in the pecking order. Alice was the other one, a SLW, and it took eighteen months for her feathers to grow back.

 

I absolutely feel some chickens have mental issues. They get stuck in this bald stage for some reason, maybe a whole range of reasons. It's not necessarily due to others picking them bald. Alice regained her regal plumage during her first fall molt, and has looked perfect ever since. I'm hoping Joycie molts in the fall and finally gets to look like a normal hen soon.

 

I posted yesterday about a nutritional feed supplement I've been using to curb my feather picking problem. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking#post_9456837 It's called Forco feed supplement. Since using it, my feather pickers appear to have no interest in shaving others of their feathers. It hasn't done anything to change Joycie's situation, though. 

One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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One matronly and regal Light Brahma hen, two Silver-laced Wyandotte hens, two Gold-laced Wyandotte hens, one Black Cochin hen, two EE hens, one timid Buff Brahma hen, four obnoxious Speckled Sussex hens, five Welsummer hens, and one twenty-year old cat who is wary of all of them.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
I posted yesterday about a nutritional feed supplement I've been using to curb my feather picking problem. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking#post_9456837 It's called Forco feed supplement. Since using it, my feather pickers appear to have no interest in shaving others of their feathers. It hasn't done anything to change Joycie's situation, though. 

I wish I knew where I could get this in Australia.... doesn't seem to be available over here sad.png

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