Does your chicken need a jacket? All about chicken saddles

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We recently ordered a chicken saddle for our silkie hen.

chicken saddle
Saddle upon arriving.

A chicken saddle is also known as a chicken apron, chicken jacket or a hen saver. Its main purpose (other than looking super cute) is to protect the skin and feathers on the hens’ backs from when roosters mount them so that hens don’t end up with wounds or infections or loss of protection from sun from feathers.

There are lots of places online to order chicken saddles. We ordered ours from ABknits on Etsy. One saddle was only $4.

blue chicken saddle

Almost as soon as we opened the package, we couldn’t wait to try the jacket on our hen. But, she is currently taking care of her newly-hatched chick and is separated from the rooster and not really in need of the jacket at the moment. (We only have the three silkies — rooster, hen and chick). We didn’t want to traumatize her or the chick by separating her to try on the saddle, so, we decided to try it on our rooster — just to see how it looks.

Silkie rooster and hen

Catching Peep, our rooster, was the hardest part. Putting the saddle on was pretty easy. These are the instructions from ABknits for putting on the saddle, which we followed pretty much to the T and had surprisingly little complaint from Peep.

Saddles are very easy to put on. Grab your chicken and hold it against your chest. Take your saddle and pull the strap all the way to one side. Place the strap around the corner of the wing then pull down slightly while gently pulling the wing upwards and through the opening. Repeat for the other side then even out the elastic and adjust the saddle to fit neatly on the back.

chicken wearing saddle
Peep, taking one for the team by sporting the hen’s saddle.

I can’t say Peep was super thrilled to be wearing the saddle, but he was able to move around just fine in it and didn’t attempt to take it off or anything. We ordered the Bantam size (it also comes in standard and large size). I think it was a little tight on him and will probably fit Gidget much better when it’s time for her to wear it.


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