Nov 2, 2012

Chicken Saddles & Chicken Diapers. Who knew?

Chicken diapers and saddles
Those new to chicken-keeping may never have heard of a chicken saddle or chicken diaper, but if you keep chickens, chances are, you're likely to need one sooner or later.  Why would you ever need a saddle or diaper for a chicken? Good question.

Chicken Saddle
Chicken saddle, also known as a hen apron Underside of chicken saddle
Chicken saddles are intended to protect a chicken's skin and feathers from further damage due to overmating from a rooster, injury, self feather-picking or feather picking from other chickens. During mating, a rooster stands on a hen’s back, holding her neck feathers with his beak and steadying himself with his feet and claws and/or spurs.This activity, known as treading, can cause feather loss and damage to the skin, making feather re-growth difficult. An aggressive rooster or one with a preference for a particular hen is likely to inflict bald spots on her back, which can be covered and protected by use of a cloth apron, also known as a hen saddle, which is strapped to her back.
Roosters that over-mate with hens can leave the hens' backs bare.
Feather loss on hen's back due to rooster treading.
When a chicken is injured in any way, the instinct of other chickens is to pick at the area, which can result in further injury and if not caught early enough, death. The general rule is that injured chickens should be removed from the flock until healed, but with a chicken saddle, any injury to the back will be covered by the saddle, allowing the chicken to remain with the flock.
Feather loss on hen's back due to rooster treading & hen apron being modeled.
Polish hen wearing a hen saddle
Chicken diapers are used not only for house chickens, but for times when a chicken becomes house-bound due to a serious injury or illness and needs close supervision. The diapers provide the chicken-keeper with the option not to keep their pet penned up in a crate or cage for the duration of their recovery. They are easy to put on, adjustable and have a waterproof liner in the pouch. Diaper inserts that slip inside the pouch and remove for cleaning. The 'V' shape allows it to cup around the chicken's tail to provide a good fit; it won't slip off or be too restricting on the bird.
Silver Spangled Hamburg Hen wearing a chicken diaper
Stella, my Silver Spangled Hamburg, models a diaper.
Chicken diaper with removable, washable insert.
The white material seen here is the removable pouch.
Chicken diaper, view of the insert inside
Velcro straps cross over the back for a secure, comfortable fit.
Hen wearing a chicken diaper
Some chickens take a little time to get used to the feel of the diapers and saddles, but they settle into them soon enough. Stella was funny to watch in the first few minutes of her test-drive though! 

 I keep a saddle and diaper in my first aid kit at all times and encourage other backyard chicken-keepers to do the same.
Chicken diapers and hen saddles are good to keep in a chicken first aid kit
Disclaimer, The-Chicken-Chick.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

87 comments :

  1. I would love to have the Patchwork Flowers pattern, the colors would look great on my White Silkie:)

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  2. Green Daisey or Black Bandana!

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  3. i would choose thw musical chicken saddle....

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  4. would love this saddle as i could bring one of my chickens in the house at times.plus they would love the attention...

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  5. Barnyard Animals saddle :)

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  6. My girls are doing 4H with their chickens and have decided they are going to clicker train them (so far working good...they can hit a target) and eventually want to start using them as therapy birds.  They will be in and out a lot and need to obviously be diapered.  We would choose the Pink John Deere pattern, but they are ALL cute!!

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  7. Becky Heckenlively11/2/12, 9:41 PM

    I never thought I would need a chicken saddle as we have no rooster but this week our Saxony drake decided he needed to mate with one of our hens!  She is now missing many feathers from around her neck!!  I am in love with the brown with  pink flowers saddle but my girls want the pink skulls!   

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  8. Christina Fisher11/2/12, 9:48 PM

    Pink John Deer pattern

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  9. Christina Fisher11/2/12, 9:49 PM

    Pink John Deer pattern

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  10. I am sure I have now seen everything! :-) And I'm one of those who would probably love to have a house chicken. But I would make armour for my little hen. Nasty rooster anyway! I realize that it's the only way to propagate the race, but my goodness those poor hens!

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  11. Patchwork hearts...thanks for the drawing!

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  12. Pink john deere, brown with pink flowers, and the pink skull! Love em they are all too cute!! Hope my girls get a chance to win. ;)

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  13. If I won an item from Louise's Country Closet, I would choose the Patchwork Flowers Diaper.  

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  14. I would choose the argyle heart pattern, so cute!

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  15. If I were to win I would love it so much to get the Patchwork Hearts diaper. (8in - small) 

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  16. Peggy Eiland11/2/12, 10:28 PM

    Argyle hearts in the diaper. I have a silkie I would love to move into the house.

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  17. I liked Louise's Country Closet on FB, and I would choose the pink John Deere diaper!!!!

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  18. Loving the Yellow Bandana print!  It would be as if they were wearing a bandana like I used to wear them when I was younger.  Too cute.  Thanks for another fun giveaway.

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  19. I would choose the classic flowers saddle

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  20. I really need a few of these! :)

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  21. Checkerboard Cherries Saddle  ~ SO cute!

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  22. chalkbuttepottery11/3/12, 8:50 AM

    Well, its a toss-up between the Green Daisy and the Pink Camo! lol! I've seen these before and they crack me up every time! love it!

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  23. My favorite is the Brown Flowers Diaper.  I already have a couple of the saddles for my hens!  Thanks!

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  24. These are awesome products!  Any pattern works for me!!  Funny you showed your Hamburg, b/c ours (Dottie) is our one who especially has needed the saddle (also heard called apron).  

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  25. Really love the daisies on black pattern - just these week we were shopping on line for chicken diapers!  Perfect timing, whether we win or not as we'll probably order anyway!  Thanks!!

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  26. I have liked Louise's on facebook & if I happened to win I would choose the Flame pattern!

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  27. thanks for the giveaway! i love the brown flower pattern

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  28. I would lokve to win a diaper. But how do I convince my husband to let a chicken in for a cuddle?

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  29. Deb Berning11/3/12, 1:25 PM

    I liked them on FB and would like the pink JD pattern saddle if I'd win. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  30. Chicken saddle, any pattern!

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  31. Mixed Chicken pattern saddle

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  32. Great items for first aid kits.
    A camouflage pattern is my favorite.

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  33. Great items for the first aid kit!
    Camouflage patterns are great.
    Thanks.

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  34. I like the pink one :)
    So cute.. I could have used one of these last summer.

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  35. I would love to win a diaper.  I have a hen that I would love to allow in the house with us.  The patchwork pattern on the 3rd page is the one that I like

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  36. I would red love a diaper for my Japanese Serama! We were checking out fabrics to order last night & like the red bandana fabric!

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  37. camo is my favorite!

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  38. I would love the chicken saddle in any pattern. They work very well with my girls.

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  39. I would love a chicken saddle in any pattern, they work really well with my girls

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  40. I would like the paisley light blue one or if you have the camo one as on your page to hide "dirt" a lil better  !! :)

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  41. Creative1421511/3/12, 8:44 PM

    I'd love the argyle hearts diaper for my silkie girls who are like lapdogs!

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  42. Love the saddle :-) 

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  43. If I won I would love a pretty pink one if you had it.

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  44. I love the red the bandana look for my Black Cochin named Elvira. She's a classic sorta lady! We love the Chicken Chick and Louise's!

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  45. The green daisy diaper is cute!

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  46. I have a hen that could use one of these. I think she would like the colorful flowers chicken saddles.

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  47. The argyle hearts diaper is super stylish! :)

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  48. a saddle in patchwork flowers maybe?

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  49. ChrisMitchellRN11/3/12, 8:55 PM

    A DIAPER! Then Nobody could complain about our pets in the house! Brilliant!  <3  Some sort of "Country Gingham" fabric would be lovely. Thanks :)

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  50. I like the rustic bandana pattern

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  51. Patchwork hearts diaper please! :)

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  52. White zebra saddle

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  53. Moximom196411/3/12, 9:24 PM

    These are such a great idea...i love just the grey one as my gals and boys are all different breeds...thanks for all the wonderful articles and blog information it is so helpful

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  54. They are all so great I can't choose! Someone would have to pick for me if I won!

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  55. I would like to win any design, but the pink monster high design is very cute :)

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  56. They are all so great I can't choose! Someone would have to pick for me if I won!

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  57. They are all great, someone would have to choose for me!

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  58. patchwork but would just be happy with anyone....

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  59. I would like the Colorful Flowers Chicken saddle

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  60. Timber Philip11/3/12, 10:19 PM

    I'd need the diaper's because of my few chickens that lay out of the run! A pink spotted one might be nice!!!

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  61. I'd need those diapers for my few ISA Browns that lay out of the run,  and a pink spotted diaper would be nice!!

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  62. Great informative post, I would love to get the black bandana diaper for my rooster. 

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  63. My girls are ganging up on Donkey, the rooster.  He is completely bald in back.  He looks so funny!  Maybe HE needs the saddle....

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  64. We've been wanting one for a while, our bantam silkie "Phoebe" has a real house habit! We like the colourful flowers! Thanks so much for the opportunity! Good luck everyone!

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  65. Britches Brambles11/4/12, 6:53 PM

    These are adorable!  I would choose the Yellow Chicken fabric.  We really need to keep a saddle on hand for our girls.

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  66. I really like the barnyard animal print. The yellow chicken saddle is a close 2nd :) Just liked them on facebook.

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  67. How interesting is that! I would have never thought of a chicken saddle! Although I have seen chickens mate numerous times and have always thought how rough it looked, no romance at all. The chicken diaper looks like something we would be interested in. Where can you find these products?

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  68. FleurDeLisChick8/16/13, 5:05 PM

    Where do you buy your diapers? I would like to buy 2 for my bantams.

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  69. TheChickenChick8/16/13, 10:17 PM

    You can buy them lots of places online or make them, but here's one link for you: http://bit.ly/17335CR

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  70. Deborah Paterson8/19/13, 2:32 PM

    I have a mixed flock: silkies, EE, etc up to Astralorps and Buff Orp. My little Welsummer Roo is only 5 weeks old so there is no rush at this point for a saddle, but thinking ahead here....how do you know which size to get/make?

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  71. TheChickenChick8/19/13, 11:10 PM

    The companies that make them usually give instructions for measuring for fit.

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  72. Ooohh - a must have! I like any color.

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  73. Sharon Folkes2/17/14, 11:36 PM

    What the price for chickens diaper

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  74. Deborah Foti5/6/14, 10:43 AM

    Wow I had no idea :-) thank you again So much information. I LOVE your blog so useful to the new and old chicken lovers.

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  75. I got 2 styles of saddle for my hens, the butterfly and the shield. When you say they may take a little time to get used to it, how long does that mean? We tried them on one of our BCMs and our Red Stars and both of them completely freaked out. They ran around the yard, bumping into things, trying to rub them off, rolling around, flailing etc. When they finally stopped moving they were heaving and panting, and we decided to take them off before they broke wings or toes. I am so sad, they looked adorable in them. Any secret to making it easier?

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  76. mainemomandwife5/22/14, 12:26 PM

    i actualy make and sell chicken saddles all my hennys wear them and love them and the roos dont seem to care

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  77. I have used saddles several times and they work really well. I have a hen that needs it right now but with our hot weather I'm afraid she will over heat.

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  78. How do I order these...?

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  79. Oh, the wonderful information you give us! Where do we find the adorable personal items for our hens? My local farm store has none. Amazon?

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  80. Dawn E. Sarver5/22/14, 7:07 PM

    I really like the saddles modeled today, and i know they make an awesome difference

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  81. Click on the links in the blog article, Gina. I provide hyperlinks to sources.

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  82. You can click on the hyperlinks in the article (they're a different color than the other words in the post, Kara).

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  83. Had no idea that this was a problem for other people. I made little "vests" for three of my hens one year after they were loved to death by five roosters!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I know, one rooster for five hens is enough.....but I was new to chickens and didn't know that back then. Folks thought I was crazy when they saw my girls walking around with their little "vests" on. But it worked!!!!!

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  84. Pedinursemimi6/22/14, 7:36 PM

    Wow....chicken diapers! I understand the idea behind the saddles...to protect the poor ladies from "damage" from mating...but diapers....hmmmm...I guess prefer my girls to stay outside, where I can visit THEM.... I don't need them inside my house..... I guess the deal is...I stay out of their house and they stay out of mine! But thanks for posting.... most interesting!

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  85. PiTown Patty7/23/14, 10:22 PM

    ATET submission, Patty Mullins: Melinda was overwrought with anxiety. She took a deep breath, clucked softly. Doc Brown nodded sympathetically, encouraging her to continue. Melinda had never told anyone about her flirtation with stardom and a planned trip to Hollywood. Like many young hopefuls, she had dreams of leaving the farm and being in the entertainment business. When Foghorn Leghorn invited her for a screen test she was filled with excitement. She made the mistake of sharing her good news with Liza, who promptly took her place as an imposter, stealing the idea for herself. Liza had no morals and spent a lot of time with Foghorn on the casting couch discussing her future. When Liza returned to the farm, rejected of course...she spread rumors that Melinda had actually been the one to go to Hollywood. Melinda was ashamed she'd even considered going and moved to a new town to get away from the whisperings. Even though she was innocent she felt guilty in her heart for having considered stardom -- and the price of her conscience that she'd have been willing to pay. Her thoughts then turned to the convent and that gave her some peace. Liza relentlessly stalked Foghorn Leghorn using Melinda's good name over the last few years. The eggnapping was to be done in exchange for Liza's silence when it became known that Foghorn had gotten a restraining order with Melinda's name upon it. It would only be a matter of time until Doc Brown was given the court order. Melinda had to cooperate in the plan.

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