Hen Saddle




About: Mostly harmless

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

you'll need:

sewing machine

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


Step 2: 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

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

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

Step 5: Cut Out the Pattern

take your scissors an cut out the pattern.

you need 2 sheets of it.

Step 6: Pin the Sheets Together

pin the sheets (inside out ) together.

Step 7: 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

turn the inside out trough the opening you left.

close the opening by sewing it .

Step 9: 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

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

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

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.



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    91 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 9

    how much elastic rubber band do you use?

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

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    11 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.



    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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 mind.......lol!! 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!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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" :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    "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 :)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    7 years ago on Introduction

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

    Very good

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    2 replies

    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!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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".