Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s time to put jackets on my chickens. No! That’s a joke. A few of my hens need jackets because they’re molting or have their feathers damaged from mating.
Chicken aprons (so called because they look like an apron when they’re flat), or saddles (for the rooster to ride) are for protecting their backs while their feathers grow back.
Cheeks has bare raw patches on her shoulders from mating, but what can you do? She doesn’t have to always be with that rooster.I made a version with shoulder protectors. So far so good. There are much more elegant versions online, but I was going for an express solution. You didn’t care about how they would look?
The one that seems most comfortable in her jacket is this little Silkie. I made a small one, and it fits her perfect. She only needs it for her shoulders. For the most part they act like they’re barely aware of it. Least comfortable is Cleopatra. She’s aware of it. First, she was hiding in the coop, then trying to fix her feathers. What have you done to me?
I was mistaken, she doesn’t need shoulder pads, so I will recycle the black fleece jacket, and she should be much happier in that. I wanted to make her a black one anyway. I have a few more without shoulder pads to put on other birds tomorrow.
Jean jacket hen gets a new fleece jacket today. I took her jean jacket away a couple of weeks ago, in the rainy time just before they went in the greenhouse, and immediately felt sorry for her, seeing her no-necking with the three feathers on her back standing up, for insulation. She’s having a hard time regrowing feathers. Lots of them seem to be broken off. She’s a low chicken, but I haven’t seen her being mated or beat up on, she’s just in hard shape. Her feet are in bad shape, her wing feathers are sparse. She was bad off when she got here, and it hasn’t got much better for her.
Anyway, she must be as comfortable as possible, so she gets a winter jacket.
Then the looky-lous come.
You see, she looks like she feels pretty good about it. She got inspected (no pecking), and just hung out on the hay bale for a bit. Cozier now.
BTW, the chicken who sits, er, sat, has made a total recovery, stopped dragging her butt, and is now indistinguishable from all the other tail-up chickens. Yay!