Meyer Makes: A Chicken Saddle
On this episode of Meyer Makes, Jess shows us how to sew a chicken saddle. Sometimes a rooster with a “favorite” hen may cause damage to her feathers and back. Putting a saddle (also known as a chicken apron) on your hen can protect them from this damage.
To make this chicken saddle, you will first need to cut out two pieces of fabric using the template attached below. Jess recommends cotton fabric to make it easy to assemble and wash when needed. You will also cut out a piece of fusible fleece using the smaller template, and iron this to the inside of one of the pieces of fabric. The fusible fleece adds some structure and durability to the chicken saddle.
Assemble the pieces of fabric wrong sides out so when you turn the saddle inside out the fabric pattern will be showing on the outside. The piece with the fusible fleece attached will have the fleece on the outside when sewing so the fleece ends up inside the saddle once turned.
Cut a strip of elastic to 10” (you may need a 12” length for larger hens) and pin the end at the middle points, making sure the elastic is sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric.
Now you are ready to sew! Using a straight stitch with a quarter inch seam allowance, sew the two pieces of fabric together starting at the top and working your way around. Make sure to leave the very top open so you can turn your saddle inside out. You can double stitch the ends and over the elastic edges for more durability. Once you are finished sewing, you can use pinking shears to clean up the edges. Turn your saddle inside out, which will now make it right side out. You can use a chopstick or a wooden spoon handle to push out all the edges. Fold the open top inside a quarter inch and iron your chicken saddle so it’s nice and flat.
To complete the chicken saddle, fold down the now sewn top edge about an inch with the elastic inside the casing. Sew the edge of the casing using a zig-zag stitch, making sure not to sew the elastic so it can slide back and forth within the casing. Your chicken saddle is complete!
To put the chicken saddle on your hen, slide the elastic loops over each wing. Adjust the elastic and saddle around the wings and feathers; your hen will adjust it herself also when she shakes out her feathers. Properly fitted chicken saddles are very comfortable protection for your hen and she won’t even notice she’s wearing it. You can have fun with different fabric patterns based on holidays or seasons, and just throw them in the wash as needed.
If you make a chicken saddle for your hens, please send us a picture!
written by Jen K
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