Thursday, April 23, 2009
In February, I wrote of the issues I've been having with my rooster's nails. Roopert the rooster loves his girl chickens just a little too much. Their feathers were starting to come off their backs and I was seriously concerned that he was going to break the skin.
A very kind commenter, Amy, over at Crazy for the Country, recommended that I check out the handiwork of a person advertising her chicken saddles on the Backyard Chicken Forum. I did, liked what I saw and, a short time later, these pretty little things arrived in the mail:
I got to pick out the fabric:
Anxious to try one out, I went outside and grabbed the chicken closest to me with feather loss. In this case, it was Spongebob:
I put it on her. She freaked. She ran about the chicken run like mad:
All the other chickens tried to stay out of her way:
And, silly me, I hadn't realized that you need to cross the little elastic straps across their chests before securing, otherwise the saddle pretty much just slides right off:
So, after clarifying this with my new saddle seamstress, I went back to the coop and tried again. This time I put four of them on - one on each of the hens with the greatest feather loss. My thought here was that if other hens have them on, too, then one won't freak out any worse than another.
Now, in my defense, let me just say - before I show you the video - that I never, EVER anticipated that the chickens would react the way they did. I had never heard from anyone, or read on any site, about chickens being fearful of fabric garments.
Here. Watch. I normally have pretty quiet chickens.
In this video, you will see:
1) Wynonna (Silver-Laced Wyandotte) on the far right-hand side of the perch trying to figure out what in the WORLD is on her back.
2) You will see her jump down and move through the chicken run like I've put the video on fast forward. I have not.
3) You will hear Roopert the rooster screeching like a girl, and
4) At approximately the 00:32 second mark you will, for a split second, see Princess (the Black Star) doing a very good impression of Michael Jackson's backward moonwalk:
Dang! All of this over a few pieces of cotton.
The wiser (saddle-less) girls got the heck out of the way and jumped to higher ground to observe the ruckus:
Wynonna sought comfort at the back of my head, which seemed to calm her a bit:
After things quieted a bit, she tested the rooster waters by jumping up next to Roopert to gauge his reaction. He no longer felt the need to screech:
Now as awful as this all seems, you will be relieved to know that everybody finally got a grip and calmed the hell down.
Wynonna excused herself and took a rest in the coop:
Bippity perched to admire the view:
Others gathered around the fresh hay to chat quietly about all that had happened:
Roopert and Princess started to make eyes at each other:
My lap beckoned to Boppity and Cowgirl:
Once everyone clearly saw that the cozy pieces of fabric on their backs were not going to eat them or their friends, all was peaceful again in the Critter Farm Chicken Coop: