Chicken saddle/apron not working or making it worse?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Phoenixsw, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Phoenixsw

    Phoenixsw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,
    I have an EE that turns out to be my roosters favorite. Unfortunately, as you all know, the favorite usually suffers feather loss and sometimes injury. I made a saddle/apron for her, but when I went to change it out, it looked like the saddle might be rubbing on her back when he's breeding with her and causing the feathers to break off and come out and make it worse. Has anyone else had this problem, or have any suggestions on how to fix it?
    He's still young and doesn't have spurs yet, but once he does, I'm afraid she's going to suffer even more damage..

    Thank you!
     
  2. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is your saddle made of?
    I make mine from sunbrella fabric, which is a fairly dense canvas like material. I've not had any issues with the saddles causing more damage. Just guessing... maybe the fabric isn't sturdy enough or maybe the saddle doesn't fit quite right, maybe too loose, causing it to move around more than it should. And the damaged feathers can take quite a while to grow back, sometimes not until the next molt.
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello-

    He might just be a very rough rooster. Maybe he's getting his feet under the chicken saddle. Is the chicken saddle made out of a soft fabric? I don't see how the saddle could be causing broken feathers, unless the cloth is loosely woven and the feathers are poking out and maybe the rooster then is breaking them?
     
  4. Phoenixsw

    Phoenixsw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first one I made out of some extra flannel material. There's no damage on the apron, but I don't think he's getting under it, and I have another one I'm making smaller(it was originally to big) and it's made from an old pair of jeans. I can't make the elastic loops any smaller, or they won't stretch enough to get over her wings.
     
  5. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The flannel might have still let claws through. The denim I would think would work fine. My first batch were too floppy, so I found by putting a layer of flat batting (flat & kind of dense rather than fluffy) helped them stay in place better. I did see one design where the elastic kind of 'floated' between sides. Attached at each outside corner, and slides freely in the middle behind the neck, through a casing/tunnel left in the fabric. Hope that makes sense.... I've not made any like that (yet), but thought it might make getting them on and off easier, so may try in the future.
     
  6. Phoenixsw

    Phoenixsw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put some interfacing in between the 2 layers, do you think I need something more than that?
     
  7. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried interfacing, I just found the batting really helped them to hold their shape better. If the interfacing is stiff enough it might work.
    And the sunbrella cloth is similar to denim, but probably a little stiffer. It's kind of trial and error until you are happy with it.
     
  8. Chicky boom boom 27

    Chicky boom boom 27 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've made saddles out of denim in the past and they've worked fantastic! Never had any that broke the feathers. Has your hen gone through a molt cycle since installing the saddle? Is the rooster rough? My first hen I used a saddle on (a wyandotte) went through a molt before her feathers came back. My australorps grow their feathers back right away under the saddle.

    Has anyone tried to attach a hood to the saddle? My white leghorn hen was beaten up very badly on the back of the head by our old roo. No tracks on the back though. He went to the neighbor's house for the winter in hopes that she would grow feathers back in that area, but sadly she is still just skin behind her comb and down her neck. The neighbor likes the roo, so he's going to keep him. I'm considering getting a different roo, but I worry that the new roo might peck her fresh scar and open that wound again. I wonder if I made a saddle with a hood to cover that area if it would work? She's a sweet little hen so I don't want her injured again.

    I'm considering adding some sort of stiffener in the fabric to keep the hood straight up the neck?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  9. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My concern with a hood of some kind would be that it would be a risk of hanging her up on something, or strangulation if it were around her neck.
    Also possibly impacting her ability to see all around and causing injury.
    I can't picture how one would stay where it needed to stay without being attached to her head or neck in some way. If you figure out something, let us know.
     
  10. Phoenixsw

    Phoenixsw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only put the saddle on her about a week ago, but now he's pulled the feathers off the tops of her wings. I made a new saddle yesterday out of denim with a piece of interfacing on both pieces, so it's more sturdy. Now I just need to find a way to protect her wings. She hasn't molted since last fall, but hopefully she'll grow them back when she molts later this year.
    I have also wondered about how to protect their heads and the backs of their necks from him too. I would also be interested if you can find anything that works or a way to secure it.
     

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