Your chicken wears a what, you say? Yup, you read that right, a saddle, or apron as some call it. I am going to share with you what it is and how to make a chicken saddle (or hen apron as some like to call it) and exactly why do you need it! Pull up a chair and let me give you the scoop!
That does sound like the funniest thing ever right? I know images of a little leather saddle, with an ‘Indian in the cupboard’ size guy riding around on a chicken. Well, that’s at least what I pictured. When I first brought up chicken saddles to my the hubs, he looked at me like I was an alien.
So even though they are not a new thing they are not commonly heard of. The chicken saddle or hen apron (or any variation of the aforementioned) are all names used for the same thing. It is a little ‘apron looking’ little piece of material that is used to put on your hens’ backs to protect their feathers.
Let’s be honest who wants their beautiful hens walking around looking roughed up? Yeah, me neither!
What is a chicken saddle used for?
In case you don’t already know my take on roosters, they are useful and in the country necessary. Roosters, well they are males, what can I say, they do the mating thing a lot. They may even have their favorite hens. With all that mating comes damaged back feathers from rooster claws. More favorite hens can get much worse damage. When feathers are damaged the hens are at risk for broken skin, irritation, and infection. Any of which could easily lead to death, especially if other hens start pecking at an open wound.
We have one Silver Speckled Hamburg that almost never lets a rooster catch her, she has perfect feathers. However, I have a White Rock hen who quickly went nearly bareback (I guess maybe she is sexy in the chicken world…). The solution, well that is where the chicken saddle or as some call it them hen aprons come in.
How to make a chicken saddle
You can always buy a few if DIY and sewing is not your thing. However, you can also do fun little chicken saddle DIY! Check out this chicken saddle pattern its an easy PDF sewing pattern from Etsy, and make them for super cheap. That’s my kind of thing, money-saving, and problem-solving all in one! Heck, that way you can dress your chickens up any ol’ way you want. Me I have kids who want to help pick out some material you will get some Ninja Turtle, Star Wars, and My Little Pony chicken saddles. Not quite the country chic look one might imagine on their beautiful free-range hens, but heck it still works.
Without too much effort or money a whole bundle of these can sew up quite quickly, an I am not a sewing pro. I made several with no more than a little beginning level sewing knowledge.
Maybe you are a frugalista like myself, or maybe you prefer to just buy some. But a chicken saddle or hen apron comes in very handy at protecting your beautiful flock from feather damage.
Do I spoil my chickens? Guilty…maybe I do. They are farmyard royalty. They clean up kitchen scraps and bugs, they help produce fertilizer, they help turn the compost and they keep us in high-quality eggs. So if my girls need a few chicken saddles to keep their feathers beautiful, that’s what they’ll get.
Don’t get me wrong, a chicken saddle it’s not only for looks (although they look gorgeous on some free-range hens). Keeping their backs protected from rooster mating sure helps cut down on damaged skin or even infections that can start. You know how they say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” well in this case that prevention is a simple little DIY project. Heck it’s not hard to learn how to make a chicken saddle, but it is so worth it♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 6 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.