The day finally came. My chickens need chicken saddles. Why I thought for sure I would be exempt from this, I don’t know. But I just recently noticed that FOUR of my chickens needed saddles, stat! Oh, Fernando, my beloved rooster, why do you have to love the ladies so much?! So I had to learn to make a chicken saddle and quick.
Why do chickens need saddles?
Chickens need saddles when they are getting a little-bit too much loving from the rooster in your flock. When the rooster “makes love”, as I am sure you have noticed, he grips the chicken’s back with his claws. This can rip out or loosen the feathers on the chicken’s back. In addition, if a chicken has just went through a molting period, the feathers may not have yet grown back.
A chicken saddle is just a piece of cloth or fabric that is placed on the chicken’s back, kind of like a horse’s saddle. This will allow the feathers time to grow back in. Also, if the rooster keeps coming around, it protects their backs from having more feathers ripped out and protects the new growing feathers coming in.
Do all chickens needs saddles?
All chickens do not need saddles. Only those who are missing feathers on their backs are the ones who need saddles.
Are chickens uncomfortable in saddles?
My chickens haven’t minded having saddles on at all. In fact, they don’t even notice that it’s there.
When do you put the chicken saddles on?
I put the saddles on my chickens at night, once the chickens have gone into the coop and are falling asleep. I can’t even imagine trying to catch my chickens during the day. That would be a disaster. Instead, I wait until they are calmly asleep, then snatch them and put the saddles on. Honestly, I have my husband help me. He holds the flashlight and the chicken while I put the saddles on.
How to Make a Chicken Saddle:
Making a chicken saddle is very simple. My instructions and pattern doesn’t include any sewing at all and no elastic for straps.
My crude drawing pattern for a chicken saddle uses polar fleece, which is fabric that won’t unravel at the edges. Other people have also used denim to make their saddles, which is a good alternative. If you are fancy and have a working sewing machine, then use any fabric that you please.
Cut a 10″ x 10″ square from the fleece. Depending on the size and breed of your chicken, the top of the saddle will be approximately 4-5″ across. My Buff Orpintons were smaller than my Rhode Island Reds, so their saddles needed to be about 1″ smaller all around.
Measuring two inches across and two inches down, place a dot to form the top of your diamond. The diamonds are the holes you will cut, which will be placed around the chicken’s wings.
The sides of the diamond should be one inch. I drew the lines on my fabric to form the diamond.
Cut the corners of the saddles off. I approximated 2 1/2″ on each corner. You can make the corners smaller or larger depending on the breed.
And there you have it, your very own chicken saddle. That was easy! Now to put it on the chicken.
Like I said before, put the saddle on your chicken after dark while they are sleeping. Fit the corners of the diamonds over the chicken’s wings so that they are wearing the saddle like a cape.
Isn’t that cute?!
I hope this pattern to make your own chicken saddle is helpful and helps to solve any amorous rooster issues moving forward. Making this chicken saddle took me approximately five minutes per saddle, which was quick and easy. It’s not fancy, but it solves the problem and my ladies are happy.