Saddle advice needed - she won't wear it! Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Life is Good!, May 18, 2011.

  1. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I've got a 8wk old white Java chick who's pretty bare-backed due to her hatchmates (black Java's) pecking her. She seems to be bottom of the pecking order too. (11 chicks - 4 likely roos and 6 likely hens with 1 we're not sure about yet)

    I'd like to protect her back with a saddle - but being only 1#, it's been a bit hard to get one to fit her! Her measurements - from shoulder to butt is only 5" long! Since they've pulled out all her tail-feathers, I cannot use those to help 'anchor' the end. I made one with elastic around the 'wing' to hold it on.

    I got it over her wings and onto her back successfully. She hopped off my knee, walked around a bit....other chickens were like, "Whoa! What happened to YOU?!" So she pecked at the elastic bands holding it to her wings and generally wriggled around until the whole of the BACK was on her FRONT?! She wore it for perhaps 15min before I finally gave up and took it off her. She was obviously relieved.

    Anyone ever tried to put a band underneath their belly (loose elastic)? Or else, can someone help with fit? I didn't take any pictures

    Didn't help that the only felt on hand was kelly green on a white chick! [​IMG]

    Suggestions welcome. Going to get white felt tomorrow. Perhaps that will help?
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Your saddle is too big. She should not be able to slip it around her body unless it is too roomy. You don't need tail feathers to anchor it if it fits snugly across the shoulders/wings. I would re-measure her and make the saddle smaller than you would think is necessary. I had to make saddles for some girls and I often made them too large initially until I got the hang of them.

    Good luck.
  3. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2010
    x2! I found I had to make the wing straps a lot tighter than I thought. After they were tight, our little bottom of the pecking order hen adjusted to it just fine and went along as if it weren't even there. Good luck. It is worth it!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by