How to Make a Quick and Easy Chicken Saddle


| 4/27/2016 10:28:00 AM


Tags: chicken saddle, injured chicken, quick sewing project, Deb Tejada, Colorado,

I think most people that own chickens have heard of chicken saddles. Chicken saddles are fabric "vests" you can put on hens that are suffering from overly, ummm, romantic roosters. The rooster’s constant attention causes chickens to end up losing feathers on their back, which leads to irritated and abraded skin, which leads to bleeding and then things really go south from there: the dreaded cannibal chickens. Putting the saddle on the chicken protects them from the rooster's claws AND the cannibals.

Here’s Jenny modeling her new saddle.

While I don't have roosters, I have needed chickens saddles in the past to protect injured chickens. The most memorable time was when a coyote, in broad daylight, attacked my hens. One of the hens was grabbed by the back, but the coyote dropped her when my son chased it away. She had a 3-4" gash across her back, wing to wing, another gash lower on one side—but for the most part seemed okay other than being in shock. I rushed her to my (horse!) vet, who cleaned and stitched up her wounds. I kept her indoors in a dog kennel for several days while she recovered and regained her strength. But I knew that the sooner I'd introduce her to the flock, the better. And if the other hens caught sight of her wounds and stitches, it would be all over.

Not having the time to look for and buy a chicken saddle on the internet, I threw a very crude one together in about 15 minutes, saw that it kept her wounds hidden and protected and eventually made myself a pattern so I could make more saddles.

So, whether your problem is roosters, wounded chickens or you just like to dress up your chickens, I'm sharing my pattern and basic instructions. I suppose you could do all the sewing by hand if you had to, it would just take less time using a sewing machine. You can download my pattern for free. You don't have to buy fabric, I suppose repurposing clothing, an old pillow case or even cotton towels would work. Depending on the weight/thickness of the fabric you use, you could do without the interfacing, which adds thickness and body to the saddle. 




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