Chicken Saddles

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicksneedhelp, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. chicksneedhelp

    chicksneedhelp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    I made 2 saddles for my girls whose backs are getting beaten up. They were triangles made out of a pot holder with ties at the top and bottom. I then proceeded to hold each squawking, flapping hen and tie them around their tails and under their chests. Today, both saddles were off, so I retrieved them, caught the girls, and retied the saddles on them. I don't think they'll last long.

    Any ideas about how to make and/or attach saddles? The hens really need the protection! Thank you!
     
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    The commercial ones that I've used tend to have elastic that goes around each wing, making it easy to stretch to put the wing in, but then also tight enough for it to stay on. Just a thought!
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    All the saddles I have for my hens, I designed and sewed for each one individually. Not only are hens all built differently and are different sizes, but some have better luck than others at figuring how to get the saddle off. No matter how many different designs I came up with, I was never able to keep a saddle on one hen. She was a regular Hen Houdini.

    The best fasteners were velcro and elastic. Snaps, ties, and buttons were all easily undone. But the velcro had to have enough surface area, or a hen could undo it, too. Elastic that went around the shoulders and under the wings secured best, and for really stubborn hens, a chest strap securing the wing elastic straps was the only way to keep them from getting the saddle off.

    The saddle itself needs to be heavy enough so that it remains flat on the back. Light material too easily flies up in the wind and doesn't remain covering the back. I make saddles three-ply for this reason, or two ply denim.

    One hen had bare shoulders, so her saddle sported shoulder ruffles.[​IMG][​IMG]If you're handy with knitting needles, you might come up with something like these girls are wearing. (No, I didn't make these. This is a stock photo.) But I did get a friend to crochet this one for a stubborn hen who had a bald neck as well as bald back.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
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  4. chicksneedhelp

    chicksneedhelp Out Of The Brooder

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    Lovely! I'm not a good seamstress, so my efforts at designing potholder saddles were totally unsuccessful...but you can buy these? Where? Definitely worth it! My poor girls! I would put the roo in the summer hen house, but it's entirely too cold and I think he'd feel awful being alone...
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Sure, you can buy them! Go check out the BYC online store! Lots of saddles for very good prices!

    If you have a relative or friend who crochets, they can find patterns free on the internet. The only problem with knitted or crocheted saddles is that crafty hens can unravel them. Do you notice the strand of yarn in front of the hen's beak wearing the yellow saddle? She was working on unraveling her sweater even as I took the photo.
     
  6. chicksneedhelp

    chicksneedhelp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Thank you! I do knit, but very slowly! And I think my girls need more protection than a knit saddle would give them, so will look for fabric ones. Thanks again!
     
  7. aardi

    aardi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2010
    Hi. I haven't had much luck with those saddles either. I started making a few on my own, I now have a jacket with a Velcro design (adjustable on the front) that has been working much better. We call it the frock. You can see it on Buffy (on my profile picture here). I made a few extra for my friends in Seattle and they all have been loving it. I'm still making a few extra ones. I have a little web site ( www.flockfrock.com ) that helps me show them off to folks outside of Seattle. Maybe those would fit your hens better?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  8. chicksneedhelp

    chicksneedhelp Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I had already ordered some of several patterns that I found online...they do look cute in them don't they? I think they kind of like dressing up!
     
  9. chickmania

    chickmania New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2014
    I have a question. Do saddles keep the bird from flying?
     
  10. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't noticed that mine have any trouble flying when they have the saddles on [​IMG]
     

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