Thursday, July 18, 2013

:: Chicken Saddles ::

My Barred Rock "Ethel" ...has a bad back. 
She is red and inflamed ...and the feathers just aren't coming in back there, like they need to be. 

Doesn't help that George is constantly "On her Back"


So, I did some research and found lots of articles for Chicken Saddles.  I thought they were more like an apron. But they go on her back, not her front... So saddle, it is! 

Looked easy enough... and I got to play around with my *new 1961 model Husqvarna Viking sewing Machine... 

Don't you just love that green color?  I've done lots of little tweaks to it and have been familiarizing myself with it...I hope to do a post on it soon. 

Anyway-- So far I've had TWO runs at making a Chicken Saddle. Well, One run, and then a DO-OVER... :)  
The first time-- I had snaps on it, where the elastic meets the widest part of the saddle. 
It was off of her in about 10 minutes! 

Then I used a seam ripper and took the snaps off and sewed the elastic into the seam there, again at the widest part... 
 and I got  it BACK on her. 

She wasn't impressed with my sewing skills, my choice of cute- country- motif -cotton- fabric 
Or having to wear it! 

She let me pet her... and I re-assured her that it would help. 
  • It would help keep the sun off her back. 
  • It would help keep Jayne AND the others from picking at her.
  • AND! It would help keep George from being so GRABBY! 


She was liking it after that... 

I went out to check on her at dusk and to lock up... it was on the floor of the chicken run.
 I don't know if she took it off or if it came off while she and George were dancing. 

Back to the sewing machine to make more modifications. 

Any pointers from you chicken wranglers that have maybe used chicken saddles?
Do they come off pretty regularly? 
Does it take some time for her to get used to it? 
I'm thinking this one may be too big for Ethel... 
She might need a SMALL. 

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37: 4


Kristina said...

We had one for Lola, but she hated it. She cowered down and was chased by all the other chickens. We took it off and her feathers eventually came back.

Christina H. said...

I like it, but not so much to protect their back. I think something like this with an insert that you could freeze to help cool them off durring the hottest days.

Eilis said...

I think it says A LOT that you went to the trouble to make this for her. It reminds me a little of the "thunder jacket" that I spent a lot of money on for our hyper terrier. It takes the edge of of his craziness in a thunderstorm. At first it was hard to get it on him when he was running wild, but now he pretty much comes to us to put his jacket on since it calms him down.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I need these, with two roosters (until recently) all our hens were missing large areas of feathers. If you figure it out, let us know.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Oh clever!
I have one of those things you put around your neck when working keep cool.
I wonder if that would work for the chickens. You'd have to careful so they don't ingest it.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Yes... she didn't want it on the first time. (with the snaps)
The second time... she let me pick her up, I think she knew if I was holding her...then the rooster wasn't going to be bothering her.
I made a smaller one today, hope to get it on her tomorrow.
Just didn't happen today.
I've heard of the thunder jackets... The Boston Lady uses those for her Boston terriers and she said it makes all the difference. She even used it on them when they traveled cross country in a moving van. It settled them down quite a bit for the ride.
Thanks for stopping by Corn!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Well I appreciate the cute country fabric. Hope she adjusts to it soon.

Revi said...

Those little packets of silica gel that come in purses, shoes, medicine bottles, etc. will work to make the cooling devices like you wear around your neck. This is all new to me. Never heard of a chicken saddle! I'm sure it fell off while dancing, or else George took it off her...

NanaDiana said...

Poor Ethel! I feel sorry for her. Hope you can get her some relief. xo Diana

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I've had to get saddles for a few of my girls lately, and I have noticed that one of them keeps coming off her. I think the rooster actually pulls it off while he is mating with her because he is so rough! I ordered mine at I am having a different problem though because the rooster keeps cutting one of my hens in the side when he mates with her and the saddle doesn't cover that part. I don't know how to sew, but I'm trying to figure out a way to maybe attach some fabric to my existing saddle to cover her sides as well.

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I remember our neighbors chickens growing up and it seemed one of them was always bald like that from being pecked on and picked on. The saddle is pretty clever.

Gail Wilson said...

I think one of the other chickens took it off of her because they were jealous. BUT they couldn't put it on. ;)

I really hope you get it to work... poor thing! I never knew there was so much to know about chickens.
good luck!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Oh the things you do for your chickens. Good for you bringing your sewing machine into the mix and making it useful. Who knew when you got it you'd be making chicken saddles! Pretty soon you'll be writing the book on chickens!

Robyn@SimplyMe1970 said...

OK, I should have read this post first. Now I know what a chicken saddle is an used for. .Poor baby.. I hope the new one you made she's kept on.

The Boston Lady said...

See? I went back and now I know about Ethel's saddle. AND as I said in my comment on another post of yours: if you hang around long enough, Pat will eventually show you everything there is to know in the world. Well, I said something like that. I learn so much from you.... Ann