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Where to buy Chicken Saddles?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by d_rooster, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. d_rooster

    d_rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    North Augusta, SC
    I have 9 hens in molt and they are all picking at each other's tails where the feathers are missing. I can't isolate them all from each other and they do not free range because of abundant predators (hawks, foxes, etc.). Normally, they are all well behaved toward each other, but now it's picking time because of the exposed pink flesh on their backs.

    I would like to purchase some chicken saddles rather than make them myself. I looked on eBay by searching for "chicken saddles" and only saw taxidermed saddle and skins from chickens - yuck! I Googled for chicken saddles, but it must be a needle in a haystack kind of search.

    Does anyone know where I might mail order (with quick shipping) chicken saddles to protect my hens form each other's picking?

    ~Donald
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

  3. pollysmum

    pollysmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2007
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    Or you can make your own

    Saddles & Treading for hens

    A cock may pull out a hen's feathers while treading during mating. A hen with missing feathers on her back has little protection from the cock's claws during future mating, and as a result may be seriously wounded.

    If a hen has her sides sliced up by a rooster's toenails, isolate the hen and treat the wounds until they heal.

    To protect hens from particularly brutal roosters, house the cocks in a private coop and let each run with the hens for only a day or two per week

    Another solution is to clip the cock’s toenails

    As an extreme measure, well before the breeding season cut off the tips of the cock’s toes with pruning sheers and cauterize the wounds with a hot soldering iron, isolate the cock for a week until the toes heal.

    Personally I think this is very brutal, and isolating the cock’s is all that is really needed or using slip ties to keep the cocks confined to one area with their own shade and roosting areas while the hens roam free.

    While they heal, keep the toes clean by washing the wounds with hydrogen peroxide on the first application there after with betadine or iodine, don’t use hydrogen peroxide again on the healing flesh it will destroy it.

    It is also a good idea to apply some Neosporin, and wrapping the toes with using a gauze bandage not sticking plaster, it will or may hurt the bird when you need to change the dressings

    As a less extreme measure, dress each hen in an apron or saddle made from two pieces of canvas or cotton denim stitched together and fitted with elastic straps.

    Apply the saddle when the hen's feathers start disappearing, not after she is already wounded.

    Make a preliminary pattern from the legs of old denim jeans and keep adjusting it until it fits properly.

    If the saddle is too tight it will chafe, rub of breast feathers, injure the hen's wings, or strangle the hen. It it's too loose it will flop to one side and be useless.

    To dress a hen, put her head through the center opening between the two elastic straps, then put one wing through each of the other openings so a strap runs beneath each wing.

    When first dressed, the hen will try to back away from the saddle (please refrain from wounding her dignity by laughing), but soon enough she'll get used to it.

    To readily identity each saddled hen, put her leg band number on the saddle using paint, embroidery, machine stitching, or iron-on patches.

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  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    I have used that pattern before. That and the text are from Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. That is a great book and I also recommend it and the pattern. [​IMG]
    Thanks for posting it, pollysmum!!
     
  5. GloriaH

    GloriaH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2007
    Watertown, Tennessee
    There was an artical in Backyard Poultry about making them out of ducktape. If anyone is interested let me know and I'll look it up for you.
     
  6. pollysmum

    pollysmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Also just thought I might add.. use wide elastic, soft one.. don't use Velcro or thin elastic... they don't stay on.
     
  7. d_rooster

    d_rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    North Augusta, SC
    Thanks to everyone for all of the great information. I would make some myself, but I'm a little rusty on the sewing machine and I'd rather get the saddles more quickly than I could make them myself. The lady/website recommended by speckledhen was very accomodating and I just placed an order with her. I'm happy not to have to fiddle with sewing. I'm sure the vendor is happy for the order. My hens will be happy when they get their first designer clothes. [​IMG]
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

  9. Moriah

    Moriah Out Of The Brooder

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    Springfield Colorado
    I dont remember where I read it on here but another suggestion is to get a baby bib and put it on backwards. I have one hen who was bald on the backside and had three tail feathers left, I went to the dollar store and got a two pack of bibs.
     

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