A hen saddle is an accessory that is used when feathers on the back and/or wings of a hen become increasingly scarce, due mainly to roosters treading on the hens' backs while breeding.
The hen saddle is used to protect any exposed bare skin while giving the feathers time to grow back. Another use for the hen saddle, or 'hen apron', as they are sometimes called, is to provide potential protection against hawks by reducing their ability to grasp chickens, and deter them with the sight of the foreign object on their backs (some saddles even come with fake eye patterns on them to deter predators even more). Hen saddles were first made by concerned chicken keepers, but have started to become commercially available, usually from small-time sellers. Companies selling them include Chicken Armor and Hen Saver. Recently, this site also added a model that in addition to adding protection, also helps keep the chickens warm. Hen saddles can easily be made at home and by hand using a tough cloth material like denim, and elastic.
Chicken Armor also sells effective, durable USA-made hen saddles at a very a fraction of the price of other saddles. This site offers chicken aprons that are innovative in design and material use. Their saddles do not need to be laundered and can be hosed off.
Although they are typically used for hens, they can also be used on roosters that have excess feather loss and to help protect them from predators. Some people even use them as 'rooster harnesses'.
- Hen Saver pattern - without groove in back (should be added for a better fit on hen).
- Rough patterns
- Various designs from small-time seller