Friday, January 07, 2011

Saddle up!

Poor Chicky has always been at the bottom of the pecking order in our coop. Since the roosters arrived, she has become the town slut. Well, perhaps that's not fair, since she's doing nothing to encourage those lascivious boys! Unfortunately, their amorous attentions have been wearing out some of her feathers...

Note in particular the balding shoulders, back, and back of head! She also seems to be picking out her own chest feathers. And for all I know she could be moulting, but I thought she'd finished that.

When a rooster mounts a hen, he grabs her by the back of her head with his beak, which over time wear off feathers. His big claws are responsible for the feather damage to the back and shoulders. The other hens are fine, but poor Chicky gets it all the time, so we had to do something for her. So I ordered a few saddles to try out!

Yep, chicken saddles! They attach around each wing with an elastic loop, and protect the back, given the feathers some time to grow back. Now that Chicky has her saddle on, I can see that I need to get her one of the versions that include shoulder protection! :(

Chicky has taken to the saddle very well, but Henrietta is a bit startled by it!

Chicky sitting pretty with Errol Flynn and Lord Gaga. It  all looks very innocent until the lust-furnace gets ignited!

However, the roosters now who's really the boss. Right, Gordon? I mean, Errol?

Love me, love my chicken. I was being very careful not to get my eyeballs pecked out. Chickens LOVE shiny things!

 Henrietta looking demure.

Anastasia and Georgiana sharing a perch.

And Tina Turner, Buttercup and Penelope up near the ceiling, where the boys can't get at them! On colder nights, they come down to perch under the heat lamp.

Saddle up, ladies!


  1. I love the saddle on Chicky! I hope it helps. It does look like she's molting to me. And you know, I guess I should have gotten the shoulder protection saddle for my Lucy, too. Lucy's wings are looking rough. Our poor little hens! :( please keep me informed when Chicky starts doing getting feathers in!

  2. Anonymous11:23 am

    Thank you for my continuing education in chickendom. A saddle on your site, sweaters on I'm Gonna Tell Mom. I had no idea that chickens had a wardrobe

    I hope that she wears it proudly and that it does the trick.

  3. Anonymous11:34 am

    Well I learned a lot there, and have been given much to ponder :)

    (Just wandered in here from Jams' Poor Mouth place).

  4. Anonymous12:04 pm

    Well, a saddle makes sense. The roosters do have spurs, don't they? Now all Chicky needs is some kind of chicken chastity belt!

  5. I love the saddle!
    My imagination is beginning to run away with me now. What about a leather one with studs? Errol would think twice about mounting spikes and she would be a biker Chick(y)!
    Or a plastic one that you could grease up so he would slide off?
    Or one with a 3D cockerel's head staring back at him to scare hin off.
    I don't know if you have sheep racing over there where the sheep have little (stuffed) jockeys. It would be funny for her to have a little jockey on her back.

  6. Chicky is one stylish chicken. I love the red gingham print!

  7. Lynn, I wonder how often I should take that saddle off and give it a wash?! I had a better look at her today and I see pinfeathers around her neck. I think you're right about the molt! Hope Lucy and Chicky BOTH start to improve soon!

  8. Marylee, have you heard about chicken diapers?

    Chicky is indeed wearing her saddle proudly. I'm sure it's keeping her a bit warmer too.

    And before we got hens, I had no idea chickens had wardrobes either...

  9. Thanks for visiting, H. insciens!

    TTPT, my friend is already calling the saddle a chastity belt. I had to explain that there's no chastity involved whatsoever! Just less, ahem, friction.

  10. Oh my, Little Blue Mouse, I LOVE your suggestions and creativity!!! Fantastic. Apparently someone does make a saddle with giant eyes on it, to scare off birds and prey. I think you should get going on a few chicken saddle craft projects. They'd be objets d'art!

    I haven't seen the sheep jockeys but they sound like so much fun. I wonder if I can whip something up for Chicky!?

  11. Thanks Wandering Cat. I think Chicky likes her new look. It's tough being at the bottom of the pecking order. She doesn't even cluck right! She still sounds like a chick, very peepy.

  12. Slightly off the topic of chicken wear; what do YOU have on your feet? They look like hooves!

  13. Hahaha! They are my old brown boots with fake "Yak Trax" slipped over them (those rubber things with metal studs on the sole that prevent you from slipping on ice.) I had a bad wipeout on the driveway the other day!

  14. Ah, so that's a chicken saddle. It suits Chicky rather well.

  15. I think the gingham goes well with her plumage!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!