Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chicken Saddles

We got our chicken saddles in the mail this past week!  Each saddle is made from durable denim - it can be washed when it gets dirty.  Each has the initials "RC" ~ for Razzberry Corner! 

Saddles are put on hens when their backs are torn-up by "too-friendly" roosters.  They are also called chicken aprons.  The roosters aren't supposed to like hens who are wearing saddles.  We have 3 hens who are worse than the others - Lucy, Singer and Chloe.  Lucy and Singer both have lost some feathers on their lower backs.  Chloe has lost feathers on her neck.  At night time, when all the birds are roosting, I've noticed the other hens pick on Chloe's naked neck, so it's not only the roosters who are hurting the poor girl.

I've been putting antibiotic ointment on Chloe's naked neck at nighttime, it has made a dark stain on her head.  Chloe's on the left in this picture, Singer's on the right.

When I went out to take pictures of the birds today, Lucy was preparing to lay an egg in a nest box.  She always puts pine chips on her back when she sits.  Minutes after I took this pic Lucy laid her egg.

Singer by my feet.

The chickens don't mind the chicken saddles in the least bit.  I seriously thought they would go crazy when I first strapped them on, but they didn't even care.  The straps go around each wing and snap to the saddle under the wing to hold it in place.  We take the saddles off at nighttime and put them back on in the morning. 


Gail said...

Now I have seen everything! Brilliant idea! I shall pass this on to Marcy since some of her hens are getting extra attention.

Terry said...

How clever!

Lisa said...

I'd seen them in photos before. But never one a chicken. They are just too cute!! I did have a problem a few weeks ago with that. But after the mink massacre it left only 3 roosters and then just 2, since we had to put one down.

So I have still 20+ hens. Two roosters to 20+ hens are a good ratio.

Razzberry Corner said...

Gail - I read about this from another blog - we all learn from each other!

Terry - Isn't it? And the ladies don't mind!

Lisa - We now have 14 pullets and 8 baby chicks. As of last night we are down to 2 roosters (we sold 2 roosters). So we are about at your same ratio now.


Leigh said...

Interesting! I didn't know there was such a thing. Something to definitely keep in mind. I think that's so funny about Lucy. Chickens are such interesting birds. Never a dull moment.

Razzberry Corner said...

Leigh - I don't know why, but many of our pullets put pine chips on their backs when they sit. If there's no pine chicps they put straw on their backs. I've read about other people's hens doing this, too.


Genny said...

Wow, I love the "RC" on the saddles. You know, I bet they would be really easy to make. I have to ask, how much work is it to take care of that many chickens? I have to make plans for my own coop when I retire. If you sold two, I guess I won't be taking a rooster to Maine with me. LOL!

Razzberry Corner said...

Genny- Would you really want chickens?? That's cool! It's really not alot of work! Especially if you just had a few just for the eggs. Did you decide on a gift for your hosts? That would be funny - driving a rooster in the car!!! We still have a few (3, I think) teenage roosters who have never crowed. And these ones are your nephroosters, too!

I thought about making my own saddles, they do look very easy. But it all takes time, and that's what I'm lacking.


Knatolee said...

Good to know about these, since we'll soon have a couple of roosters living with our girls! Your hens are beautiful, and very stylish in denim.