A hen saddle (also called an apron) is a great thing for chicken keepers to have on hand. They can be used to cover an injury, protect hens backs from over excited roosters, and cover up an unfortunate molting girl. Chickens are attracted to blood, so any time there is an injury it's best to either keep it covered or separate the chicken. But for a minor injury or pecking issue, sometimes a saddle can help immensely. If you find yourself needing one but not having time to wait for one to be shipped to you (I have never seen these in stores, oddly enough), making one yourself is a great option. Here is an easy, no-sew hen saddle you can make in minutes!
There are many sewing patterns out there for those who are talented with their sewing machines. But this saddle is one you can make with just a pair of scissors and some fleece! I bought this fleece from the fabric remnants bin for about two dollars. I've had it for over five years and I've used it for so many projects. So if you are looking for some cheap fabric, check the remnants bin at your local craft store.
Making this saddle is a lot easier if you are able to get a few basic measurements of your chicken. Measure between their wings and from the top of their wings to the base of their tail feathers (how far you want to cover with the saddle). Your neighbors will not think it's odd at all to see you measuring your chicken :)
Start by cutting a 10 in x 10 in square of fleece. About 1 inch down from the top of the fabric is where you will make your wing holes. The chicken I measured had about 4.5 inches between her wings. Place two dots 1 inch down from the top of the fabric, spacing them the distance you measured on your chicken. I like to make the wing holes 2-3 inches in length. The fleece is stretchy, so if you need more room, you can stretch the fabric easily with your fingers. Place a dot 2-3 inches below each of the other two dots. Connect these dots with a line as shown below. The wing holes should be about one inch wide. In the center of the line, measure one inch, with a half inch on each side of the line. Place a dot on each end. Connect all the dots to make an eye shape. This will be the area you cut out for the wing holes. Cut these areas out on each side.
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These are certainly not as durable as ones you can buy or sew yourself, but they can really help when you are in a pinch. Amazon sells quite a few chicken saddles!