Introduction: Hen Saddle

Picture of Hen Saddle

My instructable for the egg contest!
what could be more related to eggs than chicken?

Make your hens happy and get delicious eggs as thanks.

chicken owners know about the issues of the roosters favourite lady - her back is bald.
here´s how to prevent that, protect the hen from sore, and helping the feathers grow back.

let me introduce the


Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

you'll need:

sewing machine

fabric (jeans work great)
elastic rubber band
a mid-sized button


Step 2: Pattern

Picture of Pattern

this pattern works for big chicken like Brahma or orpington.
you'll have to try out with a piece of paper if it fits on your hens.

Step 3: Folding the Fabric

Picture of Folding the Fabric

fold your fabric once
you'll end up with with 2 layers

fold your fabric twice so you can cut out 2 pattern at the same time
you'll end up wit.h four layers.

see the pictures

Step 4: Pin the Pattern to the Fabric

Picture of Pin the Pattern to the Fabric

Now pin the pattern to the fabric
see the pictures for the position.

Step 5: Cut Out the Pattern

Picture of Cut Out the Pattern

take your scissors an cut out the pattern.

you need 2 sheets of it.

Step 6: Pin the Sheets Together

Picture of Pin the Sheets Together

pin the sheets (inside out ) together.

Step 7: Sew It Together

Picture of Sew It Together

now the sewing part comes in.

sew ca. 0,2inches from the sides.

sew around but leave an opening so you can turn the inside ut later see the pictures where to start and to end.

Step 8: Turn Inside Out

Picture of Turn Inside Out

turn the inside out trough the opening you left.

close the opening by sewing it .

Step 9: Add Elastic Band

Picture of Add Elastic Band

add the elastic rubber band - depending on the band you're using stretch it a little before sewing it on. ( if it's very elastic stretch it more while you're sewing)

secure the band with a stitched cross - it has to be really sturdy!

Step 10: Add the Button

Picture of Add the Button

now sew the button in the middle of the saddle (see picture)  with needle an thread

you'll need the button for fitting adjustments on the hen.
- the rubber band is wrapped around it to shorten it

Step 11: Fashion Week

Picture of Fashion Week

get your hen dressed :)
if shes got sore you may add some ointment first.

secure and adjust the elastic band by wrapping it around the button.
not too tight not too loose - the hen shoul be comfortable with it.

the first 20 minutes they try to get rid of the saddle but then they get used to it.

the rooster can still fulfill his duties and everyone is happy :)

Step 12: Pedicure for the Rooster

Picture of Pedicure for the Rooster

to prevent your hens from sore you can give the rooster a pedicure.

pick him at night from the roost - it's easyier than trying to catch him at daylight :)
you should have a headlamp - the rooster is stays calm this way because he can't see anything.

then take a file and hone the claws round - but only a little bit!!!
if you're not sure where the blood vessles end don't do it.


AluminumFoilMaster (author)2012-04-25

lol imagine if a bunch of chipmunks were riding those like horses and charging a person who abuses animals like a cavalry unit! Lol!

hahahaha - what a cool sight :o)

Vyger (author)2011-04-25

Overly horny roosters can be a problem. Some of our hens actually got sunburned after their feathers got worn off. I preferred ducks to chickens. They were a lot more sociable and they didn't do damage to the garden. They just went after the bugs. But the chicken eggs were better.

Mimikry (author)Vyger2011-04-26

yeah chicken are rude and cruel animals.
can't have ducks though - it's to cold in the winter.

kikiorg (author)Mimikry2011-05-02

How cold? Ducks do well in the winter because they have down (unlike chickens.) In fact, the down gets thicker in the winter -- if you're keeping the down, "harvest" the ducks when it's good and cold so the down has thickened up. (It takes a lot of ducks for down though -- we made a crib comforter with 7 ducks' worth and it's pretty thin! One goose made a nice fluffy crib pillow though.)

We're in the Bay Area, which doesn't even freeze hardly, but even so, the ducks played in the rain all winter long, happy as clams!

Look into it for your area, but I doubt you'd have much trouble keeping ducks in the winter.


Mimikry (author)kikiorg2011-05-03

we have about -22°F in winter , and the winter is quite long.
snow period is from november until april.
all the wild ducks are leaving in october and all the lakes are frozen completely from december to may.

Midsummernight (author)Mimikry2012-04-14

We ive in Canada under about the same condition as your northern Sweden sounds like. My friend has kept ducks for many years. They are a happy crowd, the winters dont face them. They are very messy though and their barn gets stinky very fast. They dont!! Duck eggs are my personal favourite, they have a nicer taste! She raised Khaki and I think Emdens. They are really happy when it is rainy out. Very funny to watch them truck around in the puddles and creek, obviously in high spirits because of the pouring rain!

Mimikry (author)Midsummernight2012-04-18

Hey there Midsummernight
But the ducks would like to have open water - i guess
I am always wondering what i would like if I were the chicken/ rabbit/ cat or whatever - and thats exactly what they get ;D

The Chicken have 4 sqm full with dry dirt that they can take their dirt-bath even in winter or when it's rainy in summer - also they have a very big coop - it's a lot easier to keep them from attacking each other, because they are less bored and can avoid ech other

the rabbits are kept in a Oversized cage with the possibility to "mow" my yard :D I couldn't keep them in these small cages with a clean conscience.

And the ducks should have some sort of open water even in winter- thats at least my "fantasy" :)

fonzuzu (author)kikiorg2011-09-13

Umm, how exactly do you harvest a duck, do you cut of the feathers or what?

kikiorg (author)fonzuzu2011-09-13

"Harvest" is a nice way to say, "process" or "make table-ready" or, well, "behead and pluck." Harvesting doesn't mean harvesting the feathers. I pluck feathers only from no-longer-living ducks. It's less painful that way. At least the plucking part. :->

Kiki -- actually, with a very sharp, fast tool, I doubt "harvesting" is that painful at all

Ducks don't have to go through the winter. Raise them starting in spring, and they are just right when thanksgiving rolls around.

Yes I'm serious. Home grown meat is a lot healthier than the hormone stuffed meat at the store. And duck is quite good. We usually raise around 8. Still got 2 in the freezer.

we also raise for eating purpose and my husband began with hunting 2 years ago.
- i don't buy any meat in the store, it's sad to kill the animals but you know that they had a good life.

maybe i should think about ducks, but maybe is the summerperiod too short.
the snow just disappeared a week ago, also they need a pond.....

we'll see :)

Vyger (author)Mimikry2011-05-03

The biggest problem I had with my ducks was that I liked them to much. Giving them the axe was a lot harder than the chickens. They also stay together in a flock as opposed to chickens, so when their numbers start going down they notice.

I believe the wild ones migrate more because of food shortage rather than the cold. When everything freezes up they can't get food. We get super bad winters here too, it goes to 40 below sometimes. My chickens used to get frostbite wattles. Roosters that went through a winter usually lost their combs to frostbite.
And many of the barn cats are missing the tips of their ears because they get frozen off as well.

Mimikry (author)Vyger2011-05-04

you can prevent the roosters combs from freezing with vaseline.
also there are breeds with special combs that are low and very thick - but i don't know what it's called in english.

It so much fun to have animals but when it comes to slaughtering it's only sad :(
but as i mentioned before, the conscience is fine if you know that the animals died withour pain and that they had a good life.

Mutantflame (author)2011-10-10

Ha! Reminds me of the saddles they put on on some ostriches in South Africa so you can ride them!

Very good

This is such a wonderful idea. Thanks for posting.

scoochmaroo (author)2011-04-24

The rooster pedicure could be a full-on Instructable too! I had no idea the troubles of raising chickens. I had to read this twice to understand why the chicken would need a "saddle." Poor hens!

n_toxic_ated (author)scoochmaroo2011-04-27

or what about those 'vinyl nail caps' you can get for cats to glue to a rooster's pecker instead?! if they can protect furniture & carpets, couldn't something similar protect a hen's back as well? i'm sure you could make an instructable for this as well, making everyone in the coop chic & stylish!

Mimikry (author)n_toxic_ated2011-04-28

Just googled these caps -and I hope they're only a joke -otherwise:
HOW CRUEL - who would do that to a cat?
you guys have VERY crazy stuff in the USA not mentioning the people who buy such stuff.
i have 4 cats and none of them destroys furniture - maybe they're not angry enough and too spoiled with the freedom of beeing -well - "catish".

lbrewer42 (author)Mimikry2011-04-28

Cruel? I tried these once. My cat could not have cared less they were on! It did not change her demeanor at all. But, then again, she is pretty docile no matter what. She does use her scratching post, but has also dug into one of our chairs and continues to do so when we are not around to stop her.

I admit I originally thought it was crazy when i first saw these. But I had a friend recommend these as opposed to getting the cat de-clawed. So I thought I would give it a go.

They worked great. But by that time the chair was already ruined. Since she only does this one chair, we still stop her when we see her doing it, but she cannot do it anymore harm - so shy worry about the extra cost?

Mimikry (author)lbrewer422011-04-28

the whole de-claw thing give me the creeps!
- in Europe it's not allowed to do that - thanks for that!

i don't know- i REALLY don't like the idea of these caps or de-clawing or anything else in this direction.

A Cat = Claws!

but thats my opinion - no offense!

Vyger (author)Mimikry2011-05-03

I don't like the idea of de-clawing either, its like cutting off your fingertips. I have seen my cats use a single claw to hook something and pick it up and sniff it. They actually have amazing dexterity with those tools and for them that is what they are.
Caps are another story. They are not permanent. They wear off and fall of pretty fast. My daughter got them on her cat but just once. He learned to stop clawing, it broke his habit and when the caps were gone he didn't go back to his old ways. So for him it was a training tool.

thirtyfivefox (author)Mimikry2011-04-28

if you are allowing your cats out to hunt and do their business then you would likely never encounter the issue with furniture. It is a natural instinct to for cats to "sharpen" their claws and most prefer the bark on a tree for such a purpose. If they get outdoors enough most behavioral issues with kitties disappear, but then then you will have the appearance of gift kills outside your door... had a 8 pound reverse tabby bring home an adult rabbit once... half alive at that...

lbrewer42 (author)thirtyfivefox2011-04-28

Thanks for the info. I always wanted to do this - but i am very ignorant of how cats work - even though i have had my eldest for around 5 years. How do you guarantee they come back home after you let them out?

Also, i live in a high deer tick-population area. How do you protect cats from ticks & keep the cats from bringing them in? Last Christmas (I am disabled and inside most of the time) I actually found a tick on myself and had to assume the dog brought it in. I developed symptoms and had to be treated for Lyme's disease!

Also - Although i would prefer not to have the gifts mentioned - it also would not really bother me either. Its all a part of nature.

thirtyfivefox (author)lbrewer422011-04-28

lbrewer42... my reply wasn't to your message and I'm sensing hostile sarcasm in your message... could just be the mood I am in so I'm going to try to give you the benefit of a doubt as I have owned at least 6 cats over the last 20 years. First as soon as you allow an animal out of the house you cannot guarantee anything. Second a cat will always come back to food, warmth, and safety. The cat that had fetched the rabbit ended up not coming back one day and we suspect she was hit by a car. We have had two other cats who adopted a new family who was able to provide the aforementioned food, warmth, and safety better to the cats liking and would come back to visit once a month or so. The other three cats never had any issue and stayed with us until the each died of old age or were given away to friends. As far as ticks, that can be a real concern with dogs because they don't keep up grooming as well as cats... we lived in the heart of Kansas and the deer tick population there is pretty high but we never really found any on them. Though any mammal is subject to them. If its a real fear then use control agents like frontline, advantix for cats. This is essentially a toxin that kills the parasite when it tries to feed... most cats that are let out will stop using their litter box nearly as much and will lose alot of pudge if they are active hunters. Cats will socialize in rural areas so spay/neutering is a must... most cats remain reclusive to human interaction when outside but its still possible some one might swipe your cat, best to chip each animal at that point. Check local pet laws before allowing any animal outside without a leash although most animal control units will leave a cat with a collar alone (chipping will help identify your cat if it happens to slip its collar. And a collar presents a choking hazard to the cat if it decides to make a leap around objects that might hook it as cats don't have the ability to adjust their dexterity naturally to accommodate the collar... most cat collars incorporate a break free design if this is the case ... and lastly if you move or visit another house and desire to allow your cat to continue to roam make sure you keep him in the house for at least 2-3 weeks so that he can imprint the new location before you release him. Of all the cats we have owned we only found our outdoor cats to be tolerable... lastly you should avoid declawing your cats as its typically their only defense against other animals, though a cat that has rear claws can still rake an animal after its belly is shown (although this is considerably the most vulnerable position a cat can be in). Inspect them regularly for cuts, scarring, or broken teeth or nails just to make sure they aren't getting in to a tom's territory or getting an infection... hope you were sincere and this helped give some light on the idea. Also most common for "gifts" are field mice, baby birds, small bunnies or hamsters, and if your cat is really successful rabbits, adult birds, etc. You shouldn't get any neighbor chihuahuas or anything. They will typically leave them in an area that they know you will find it like the front door or backdoor. you have to make sure that they don't have kill in their mouth when they ask to come back in because they may be holding on to it because they still feel a heart beat. You don't want a scared half dead animal lose in your house. And the gifts they bring are considered a sign that they appreciate how you take care of them...

lbrewer42 (author)thirtyfivefox2011-04-28

I am so sorry! By no means was I trying to be sarcastic, but, re-reading it, i can see how it could look that way. Again, I apologize. Can I blame it on my headache at the time I wrote it ;^))

And thanks for handling it in the way you did. Its nice to talk with people who try to give a person the benefit of the doubt.

Also thank you for the great info. I would rather have someone who has "been there" tell me this than spend a whole day researching the web!

As to the ticks, we literally cannot go outside the door and walk in the field next door without finding ticks on us. Its terrible.

Also, I would never think of declawing an outside cat for the very reason you said. This just makes sense.

What do you mean by have the cat "chipped?" I have not heard this term used before.

So would it actually be something I could do to let my two house cats outside now? One is only a year old and the other is around 5. I would not mind being rid of the litter box. One more thing, does making them be outside cats make them more people shy and less wanting to let you pet them?

Thanks again for the help.

RanaRavens (author)lbrewer422011-04-28

Chipping is having a small computer ID chip placed in the skin of the cat. It can't be lost (unlike a collar - but collars do have the advantage of signaling "this cat belongs to someone") but it requires a reader to read the info on it.

If your cats have grown up as housecats, I'd take it slow about letting them become outdoor cats, if at all. They have to learn about things like dogs, cars, coyotes, weird people, and so on. If they're stupid and/or really friendly, they're not going to last long. You might try letting them out on a leash or put them in a small closed cage or crib in the yard (in the shade) for a short time to see how they react.

Sadly, it doesn't mean you can give up the litter box, as the cats should come in at night and, like people, even if they can go out, they'd rather do their business somewhere that's safe and warm.

My family had indoor-outdoor cats when I was growing up, and my mother still keeps a barn cat, but I wouldn't let my current cat out. She was a stray, so is street- and dog-smart, but we live in a busy neighborhood with lots of traffic, and I don't need the stress of wondering if/when she'll come back, if she'll get in fights with other cats, and so on.

As for declawing, I find it pretty easy to take a pair of nail clippers and just rim the cat's nails once or twice a month. Now that we have a cardboard scratcher she likes, she leaves the furniture alone, and I don't have to clip her any more (unless it's summer and I'm tired of her making marks on my bare legs by accident).

n_toxic_ated (author)RanaRavens2011-04-29

now i have more of an issue with 'pet chipping' than glue-on nails. even though they're about the size of a grain of rice, i would rather not put a foreign body, inert or otherwise, inside my cat's body (or mine). as with almost everything else, some studies show increased rates of cancer, but i'm the first to admit i haven't read these studies so i can't comment on how applicable they actually are to real life use. i'm convinced soon we'll all be chipped (think CSI episode where the IT geek chipped himself to get through secure labs at his work, or the book FEED by MT Anderson).

on a side note about RFID (radio frequency identification), people can scan for RFID information that's just out there & unprotected, like on passports while you're that's scary...

Okay two major issues here. One technology is going to happen no matter how scared you are about it... if you are afraid of chipping for the reason of foreign matter in your body than don't go outside and please don't get surgery. Since the devices are entirely passive and are powered to the radio energy that you are already exposed to there is no real risk of cancer from radiation. Honestly this sort of ridiculous comes from the fear mongering media and their misconstrued and ignorant understanding of everything. And yes soon we may all be chipped... one reason why I am such an expert in it is because I have self implanted a RFID chip in my own hand in order to rid myself of keys altogether. Fact is that chipping has been the only reliable method for making sure an animal (read here property) can be returned to its owner. In addition to that, it has served to prevent an animal with an owner from accidentally being put down at a kill shelter. Plus it offers a way for your pet to interact with sensors which can recognize the animal itself and record pattern of life information or bathroom habits and possible in access systems that could save your pets life in the event of a fire. You are free to your right not to chip but you should at least have a more informed, less fear based logic before you try inform other people.

And two, your side note is not founded on any real knowledge of how the technology works. There is not enough memory on most of these chips to store any data at all and there exists the same counter measures used to protect information on RFID chips as any other method of securing data... the chip in my hand is a 5mm (slightly larger than a grain of rice) Phillips HiTag S 2048 and is one of the most advanced 125khz passive rfid chips available on the market today... it supports challenge handshake style authentication before passing an id and the id is passed fully encrypted. The level of sophisticated equipment necessary to break the security is far greater than the crowbar or boot that it would take to kick in my front door. There really is no place for this level of uninformed, conspiracy like comments which only serve to continue pushing fear and please also understand that some of us adhere to transhumanist logic and are not afraid of body augmentation which is really no different that the surgeries that have been common place for decades. One of the reasons why unencrypted chips are used so commonly, like homeagain (125khz em41xx chip series), Master Card Pay pass, or Transponder Vehicle Keys (13.5Mhz Texas DST chips) is because not enough people know about the differences. I am really not trying to sound harsh here but I hear so often from people who think this is of course the sign of the devil (just like SSN) and brush it off in some elitist fashion. IF anyone who reads this wants any more information please feel free to message me in private.

lbrewer42 (author)thirtyfivefox2011-04-29

I do not believe it is a sign of the devil and would not have a problem with putting it in my pet. Hey, my grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 93 and he knew he had a broken off piece of wire in his leg from an accident when he was a kid!

But be careful with your responses. You sound like you have had some pretty hefty discussions with people who take the other side of the issue and you are tired of it! But assuming anyone who would disagree with you automatically has an elitest mindset is an ad hominem approach and, therefore by definition, would invalidate your position and credibility. This is NOT a slam against you - just trying to help.

BTW - Hmm... the SSN that was, at its creation, ONLY EVER going to be used for tracking your funds payed in - NEVER would it be used for anything else!
Sad but true!

The problem is not the technology. The problem is the way unscrupulous people look at technology as a new, underhanded way to achieve their own goals at the expense of others.

Look at the recent find that all iPhones and iPads keep a detailed record of your position by recording this personal data. Although Apple denies they did this & said the iPhone was only keeping track of proximity to wifi locations, The guy on Gizmodo shows his iPhones data was keeping a detailed track of everyplace he had been - not just a generalized bank of wifi locations he happened to be close to!

Be assured, someone WILL try to corrupt the chip implants if the people do not keep a watch on them.

n_toxic_ated (author)lbrewer422011-05-02

i keep telling people that when we all finally *do* get chipped, i hope the cashier at tim's can't access the current value of my RRSPs when i wave my arm over the scanner to have the cost of my morning coffee taken out of my bank account...but you know someone in the back baking the donuts *will* have figured out a way to hack into the wealth of information in my chip...

Madrigorne (author)lbrewer422011-05-02

it is better not to rely on the altruism of others, there will always be someone to abuse even the best of intentions. I always figured they were tracking my every movement via my cell phone. Guess they must really want to track how many times I go to the bathroom during the day, as well as my bedtime every night.

i didn't mean 'scary' as in extreme paranoia or fear, clearly i need to watch what i write in future comments.

i'm all for technology & would welcome the ability to be found when lost & not have to carry a wallet around with me. nothing is 100% benign so people need to weigh the pros & cons of everything for themselves. and no one is 100% knowledgeable in anything.

as long as at least 1 person has learned at least 1 thing through all of these comments that are quite far removed from the author's original idea of a hen saddle to protect his hens, then i'm happy.

Madrigorne (author)thirtyfivefox2011-05-02

When the Singularity comes, I want to be on your side of it. How do you program the systems to use the rfid signature? I would love to use this for my house/car/work security doors as well as for paying for groceries/gas/vending machines. I'd only have to worry about power shortages or somesuch - also rfid taggers may steal my info. I for one welcome the upcoming tech. The study about 'cancer' is one I have read - and its somewhat accurate if you replace the word 'cancer' with 'tumor' - as the kitty body can encyst the rfid tag and make it into a rather large tumorous growth - albeit a benign one. It has little to do with the radio waves and alot to do with the foreign body within the host body. Comme ci comme ca.

lbrewer42 (author)RanaRavens2011-04-29

I have had a scratching post for quite some time. As long as I am looking, our older cat uses it. However, the chair mysteriously started being scratched when we were not around :^)

now that we have the 1 year old - the older one has trained him to do the same thing - but he is not so crafty. He tries to do it when we are here. When we yell "NO!" to him - its funny, he sort of squeaks loudly a couple times and walks away :^))

I will try to cut their nails more often. I never did it twice a month. Maybe this will help.

Thanks for your help and take care.

Mimikry (author)lbrewer422011-04-30

lay a unwashed sweater, that smells like you, over the chair - that can help to prevent from the scratching, until they learn it.

lbrewer42 (author)Mimikry2011-04-30

Are you implying I Smell???



Seriously - thanks for the tip - this is one of those "I should have thought of that!" moments. Brilliant idea.

Much Thanks

Mimikry (author)lbrewer422011-05-01

wasn't aware that "smell" is a rude word :)

sometimes the easiest things are most effectful :o)

greetings from sweden

lbrewer42 (author)Mimikry2011-05-01

The way you used it is actually OK - not rude at all. I was just having fun with the play on words. Your statement, "... that smells like you ..." more than likely would be written (in the US) as "that has your scent on it."

ONLY b/c its popular to say, "you smell," or "you stink" when insulting someone or their abilities -- such as, "You really smell/stink at baseball," was I having fun and making a joke.


Sweden? I'd love to visit your country some day!

Take care

Mimikry (author)lbrewer422011-05-02

you never stop learning - that's what they say :)

yeah sweden rocks :) - i moved here from Germany 5 years ago and will never leave it again =) it's such a beautiful country, undestroyed nature and almost no population and all the red painted homes are very charming :)

take care and have so much fun with your cats!

Jag älskar Sverige :)

n_toxic_ated (author)RanaRavens2011-04-29

i didn't mean to start any type of war here! i don't even know why i ended up looking at this instructable because i'm a city gal and the only eggs, chickens & roosters i would ever see are in my fridge, freezer or grocery store.

a co-worker told me about the nail caps & as cruel as they may seem to us, i've heard cats really don't seem to mind them and yes, a million times better than declawing. the only concerns i would have would be what would happen if they swallowed the caps and/or ingested some of the glue used to hold them on (and i guess any toxins from the glue that might leach through the nail into his body), since i've watched my cat pick off old nail shells while grooming himself. like human fake nails, they grow out/off with time. i agree, using them on an outdoor cat is 'cruel' because it can decrease their ability to protect themselves, however i believe they only really need to be used on the front paws, the same paws where most declawing procedures are done (and yes, i know some people who let their declawed cats outside).

unfortunately as we change our pets' environments to suit human needs, innate habits often get redirected elsewhere & we get angry with our pets instead of trying to understand their behaviours.

thirtyfivefox (author)lbrewer422011-04-28

No problem, been a real bad day for me today so I apologize for the accusation... I love this community because everyone is usually so happy to help and collaborate ideas. RanaRavens answered your questions really well. The tick population sounds crazy and I would start researching its food chain... you might check with the local conservatories to find out if you have a natural predator in the area that you might coax into the area to help control the population.

Homeagain services north american pet chip services. This is small ampoule of biologically inert glass that contains a small silicon chip with a specially designed antenna. The glass is coated in substance called biobond which causes the chip to anchor into the scar tissue caused by the syringe it is inserted with. The syringe is slightly larger than an intravenous catheter. Home again isn't the only brand its the chips that my animals have (2 dogs). Chloe, my rescued pit bull/yellow lab mix was very not happy about the process, and Jac, my rescued australian shepherd/jack russel terrier didn't even flinch. They both don't notice it at all and it sits in between their shoulder blades... they don't recognize when I check to see if its still in place or push on it. I have done a lot of research in the technology which is known as RFID and is commonly found in anti theft systems and in car keys and credit cards (paypass). Most animal control patrols carry hand held readers and can get the tag identification number (a string of 32 numbers) which corresponds to the entry in the companies database. Homeagain chips cost me ~$32 for Chloe implanted, and was included in the adoption fee for jac. For that price I got a DVM to install it, the chip already pre loaded in the implanter, and a lifetime database entry in the homeagain system. For an annual fee they offer some pet location services but the chip isn't able to do gps location or anything crazy (2-3 inch read range after implantation). I have a couple projects coming up that tie the homeagain chip into a locking system that locks and unlocks a dog door so that my dogs are the only animals able to authorize entry and i dont get stray animals or raccoons in my house.

As RanaRavens said the cat boxes have to stay but there should be a noticeable decrease in usage...

As far as behavioral changes... I cant really say to be honest but I can talk about the behaviors of a few of our cats and see if you can get an assessment... again you can never have a guarantee with a living animal... cats have wide personalities and tastes for how they want to interact with humans so its up to your cats...

The crazy hunter reverse tabby referred to earlier was the first cat we took in and was a pet store cat... she was an indoor/outdoor cat in the Konza Praire and she was friendly with everyone but a few select people for unknown reasons (maybe a cologne or something). She became pregnant and thats when she became stand offish... After she birthed a litter of 6 healthy kittens (not one stillborn). Two which we kept... she lost a taste for the outdoors while nursing and preferred the safety of the indoors but when the kittens were fully weened she became a veracious hunter and stopped being friendly with all but one family member(mother). One day she just didn't come home and we suspect that she was attacked or ran over...

One of the large tabby cats we kept from her litter became a fat lazy cat who only mildly had a taste for the outdoors and would really only go out as a tom or to lay around about 2 years outdoors we found out that he had been getting in fights outdoors and was clearly getting into another toms territory. He is the most docile cat i have ever met and weighs almost 18 pounds and absolutely adores having his belly scratched like a dogs... He's still around and pushing 10 years old. We started letting him out as soon as he was fully vaccinated, had clear vision and could walk straight and could hit a target that he jumped at.

Two of our other cats were rescued stray kittens abandoned and both were let out after they were successfully dewormed, vaccinated, and nursed back to a healthy weight. Both were happy cats, one had a serious mouth fetish from not being successfully weened and really likes chewing and licking fingers , the other a perfectly normal cat personality. The normal cat personality cat found a new home and visits on occasion. The other is around and doesn't like going out much at all. Both are around 8 years old.

Last cat was a pet store cat as well and is a long hair domestic. He holds the alpha status and was about 14 pounds and has become the primary hunter. He enjoys the outside and always comes back and loves affection. And is probably around 9 years old.

All cats other than the first are male and neutered, the first cat was spayed following her litter. I honestly don't think that it will change your cats personality much at all. They may be more tired and there fore more willing to lay around the house and less concerned with touching. I personally think that it is required by their nature as predatory mammals and wouldn't own a indoor only cat. As far as your cats go, you will need to make that decision for yourself and of course again you have to accept the chance that they may not come back or something might happen to them and be ready for that cause. I wouldn't let your cats out if they seem to lack normal coordination or are sick or are newer to the house than 3 weeks as they have to imprint the house and they have to understand it is a safe haven... all of our cats lived together at one time and we are pretty sure the one that adopted a new family was having authority issues with the our alpha cat and moved on.

Rana brings up an excellent point with the environment that you release you cat into but it sounds like you have a decent size plot of land... our animals were being released in suburban settings in a small town...

OH last thing... if you don't want to have to deal with the kill on your porch then put a bell on your cats collar, doesn't work all the time though...

Best of luck!

lbrewer42 (author)thirtyfivefox2011-04-29

This is a lot of great info. I appreciate your taking the time to share all of this. I am going to save this in my files.

Take care

lbrewer42 (author)Mimikry2011-04-28

None taken at all. We are entitled to our own opinions (as long as we do not criticize the current American administration in DC - LOL!).

BTW - I now own a second cat - and he has his claws - and LOVES the same chair - sigh!

luckyboots125 (author)Mimikry2011-04-28

Due to a birth defect my kitty is unable to retract her claws. Rather than declawing, I use the aforementioned nail caps. Now she can run around without getting stuck to the carpet and furniture. She doesn't even notice them and can now play like a "normal" cat.

Some cats may mind, but a lot don't. And it's an excellent alternative to declawing.

Lithium Rain (author)scoochmaroo2011-04-24

Chicken Fun Fact! Setting hens will steal eggs from adjacent nests and sit on THEM, too. As if they didn't already have plenty... (we just figured out what was happening when my brother happened to see a hen go to another nest, grasp an egg in her claw, and hop back to her own and deposit it there - before we thought they must be laying their eggs on top of existing caches, which was weird enough!)

We have a goose that would steal chicken and duck eggs to raise, she couldn't raise her own eggs, as everytime she lays an egg it has no shell, so she stole others. It's hilarious when she hatches out duckling and chicks, and then raise them! But when it come to teaching the chicks to swim...

sounds nice - not the chick swimming part though - do they drown or are they smart enough to stay outside the water?

Usually they stay out, but we've lost a few dumber ones before. But she's also done better in recent years about trying to make them swim.

she eats too many dragonflies

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