anyone use chicken aprons / hen savers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RisingSpring, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. RisingSpring

    RisingSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Northwestern PA
    we have 10 big hens, one plymouth rock rooster, and 6 silkies. 4 of my big girls have been losing more and more feathers on their backsides from getting mounted a lot. one of them is now down to the skin and looks raw.

    would getting "hen saver" aprons be the best or simplest thing to do? do the hens mind having those on? can the roosters still mount them okay with those on? are there other options??
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    By backsides, are you talking about the top of their backs, or around the vent area? Or somewhere else?

    Lots of folks use aprons / saddles for feather loss in the middle of their back, which is usually the result of overmating. I have used them. My experience is, the hen seems to mind only at first, maybe part of a day, but if it stays on and isn't too tight anywhere, she is no longer aware of it. I have left a couple on til the next molt. It should not interfere with mating if it doesn't obstruct the vent.

    If feather loss is around the vent, though, this is not from mating. Possible causes are feather picking and lice / mites.
     
  3. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have actually made my own hen apron cut out of an old piece of cloth. My first attempt was made from an old washcloth, but the hen was able to get it off because is was too stretchy. The next time I used a piece from a pair of old jeans. Now I have two hens stylishly wearing denim jackets to protect their backs.
     
  4. RisingSpring

    RisingSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Northwestern PA
    flockwatcher - i'm sorry i should have been more specific. yes i mean the middle/end of their back. it is clearly from mating. actually, now that i think about it, does it have anything to do with the rooster's spurs or is it mostly inevitable?

    rungirl - i wondered about that, i sew a lot, maybe i could try to make my own. did you use a pattern?
     
  5. N. Virginia

    N. Virginia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, duct tape is good for everything. I put duct tape (with tape protecting the sticky part against the back where there are no feathers). Just protected the feather area with double tape and stuck the sticky tape loosely down the sides in front of the wings - around 4" wide. Then added a little piece (2 ") up her neck on top of the feathers.. Worked great, even thought not beautiful. Eventually fell off, by which time the feathers had grown back. But your rooster is too aggressive, I think...what do others say? Sometimes it's just one chicken who is the favorite.
    Cheers,
    N. VA
     
  6. FiveMoreMiles

    FiveMoreMiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Missoula Montana
    I have been thinking of making a identification apron. I have nest traps that open from above Having a numbered apron on my hens would help me rapidly ID the hen.
     

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