Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Stylish Hens

Some of my hens have been worn out by my roosters. I recently sold six extra roosters, so there were WAY too many around here. My poor hens' backs are proof of that. When the roosters mate with the hens, their feet and nails tend to pull out feathers. A couple of my poor hens' backs are now totally bald.

I recently saw something online called a hen saddle, and it's a protective cover for your hens so their feathers can grow back in and so the roosters can't damage their backs. I decided to make some, since we're on a tight budget and, well, because I can!

First I made a pattern. I went off the one I saw online for the basic shape (I changed it a tad) but I didn't have measurements so I used one of my hens to measure it.


I found a cute fat quarter my mom and sister gave me, and I had some left over baby flannel from a gift I made. I figured the flannel would be nice and soft against the hen's back. I decided to use a middle layer of flannel as well to give the saddle some thickness and to give the hen more protection.


I sewed the right sides of the top and bottom layer together, and put this middle layer on top. I sewed all around but left a gap so I could flip it right-side out. I also pinned the elastic in between the layers. That was probably the trickiest part.


Here's the finished top.


And here's the finished bottom! This will be the side against the hen.

I tried it on her this morning and it seems to fit pretty well. I might make the back a tad longer next time so it comes farther down to her tail. I also might tighten the elastic just a tad because it seemed slightly loose around her wings.


Sorry for the blurry pictures. It was early!


It doesn't seem to bother her! She turned around to look at it a few times, but went right to eating.


And most importantly it didn't hinder her ability to go through the little doorway into the sheep pasture.


I'll need to make a few more of these and tweak the pattern so they fit just right. Won't it be cute to have all these fashionable hens running around?!

8 comments:

Kim said...

those are too cute! you will have to put those on etsy

Becky said...

Great job!! She looks adorable :) You'll have to color coordinate with the color of the hen! You can have hen runway shows :) I'm sure they'll appreciate the extra protection.

Angela said...

I love it. What a great idea.

Jennifer said...

The chicken saddles are too cute, I got some from a Christmas swap I was in on BYC and when I tried it on one of my poor hens then roosters attracted her, they did not like it! I had to hurry up and catch her and take it off.......

Deb said...

I love your saddles! You are so cute! I know they will love being more covered until the feathers come back. I am so surprised that both you and Becky do so much sewing! But it's nice to be able to make anything you want, isn't it? Loving hugs, Momma

Deb said...

I forgot to tell you how much I love your banner picture of that sweet little brown hen!! I love all the clover behind her. A perfect country picture! Love, Momma

Susan said...

Katie, these are awesome! I have several bald hens too. I am going to steal your idea and make them some fancy duds.

Dad said...

Katie, that cracks me up! But I can see how they would need the protection. That's actually pretty smart. I love how the saddles look on them. Nice job! Poor hens though. They're probably thinking what the hell is going on.

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