hen saddles and hentertainment (or roostertainment maybe?)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ctcasper, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. ctcasper

    ctcasper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Minnesota
    Okay, so I have 7 hens (was 8) and two roosters and I know this isn't the recommended ratio but they were fine all summer together and still seem fine except a couple of the hens are both roos favorites and so they are getting quite bare backs due to being cooped up all day every day. We have tried to let them out, but they will not go onto the snow, so they stay in even if their door is open for hours. I heard hen saddles are an option, would it be a good idea to put one on them until the weather warms up and then can get outside? I won't have fertile eggs then, right? Also, should I put one on all the hens or just the two that look rough? Is there other things I can do to give them some other type of entertainment, like I have heard of hanging a cabbage for them, does that work???? Sorry so many questions just don't want my hens to suffer. Does it hurt them for this to happen?

    We will be adding hens to our flock this spring and really love our two roos so we dont want to rehome and we really have no place to put one of them without finishing our big coop, which we have been working on but it is slow going.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    A saddle does not prevent mating. It just protects the hens back from the amorous roo. You will have fertile eggs.

    Yes, it does hurt them. The feathers protect their backs from the spurs of the rooster that can lacerate their skin. You could also consider removing the roo's spurs. I have never done this but some say you can use pliers and twist the spur off. Others say to clip them. You might try both the saddle idea and spur removal.

    Believe it or not, there is yet another use for duct tape...chicken saddles. I have seen this applied to their backs. I think it comes off when they molt. I saw this in a magazine...never it real life.

    Hang an onion bag or some loose bag with some treats in it or hang a head of lettuce
     

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