View Full Version : Do your hens have saddles?
Jan. 1, 2011, 10:32 PM
Curious to know if anyone here uses chicken saddles? My hens free range and we have a family of hawks that lives in the woods behind us. My girls are very hawk savvy and smart, but I ran across the Predator Eyes Chicken Saddles and wondered if it's a dumb waste of money, or maybe they're onto something? I didn't know if I should laugh when I saw this site, or take it seriously? :lol:
Jan. 1, 2011, 10:40 PM
Those look interesting. Are they simply for camoflauge or is there something that prevents the hawks from getting their talons in there?
Mine are free range during the day also and my americaunas are probably too large for a hawk, I worry about the little half-grown silkie
Jan. 1, 2011, 10:44 PM
I can see them protecting from rooster plucking damage but I can't see how it could protect them from getting grabbed by a good size hawk. But if you want the best dressed hens in town, go for it. :lol:
Jan. 2, 2011, 10:37 AM
I've seen those things and wondered about them.
I think the point is two fold, the eyes make the critter look bigger, sort of like "eyes" on moth wings, I don't think raptors are that dumb tho.
The saddles are heavy thick fabric so the hawk can't get a good enough grip to carry the little chook away.
Would you be able to leave them on all the time? Or do you have to dress your hens each morning? Not sure if I have that kind of patience! Now if they made them with pink sequins.......
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:03 AM
Our neighbor uses them on occasions, but mainly for the hens that get torn up by the roosters being a bit too amorous. Not sure how well they would do against hawks. I did see a hawk attempt to snatch a chick and most all the chickens near came running to attack the hawk.
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:09 AM
Well I don't know anything about chickens but what I see is a piece of cloth covering the back attached with elastic straps.....I suspect when the hawk goes to grab the bird he gets the cloth and because the straps are elastic that they would stretch and the bird would probably just slip out????
Jan. 2, 2011, 08:23 PM
if you go to the "what is a hen saver?" page it says it's just to protect them from the roosters and feather loss
Jan. 2, 2011, 08:30 PM
Hawks kill instantly by and large. Picking the bird up has little to do with whether or not they die. Those talons are big, sharp and strong. I used to use saddles for my more popular hens. They did not stay on. Chickens are a lot more flexible than they look. They can just slink out of anything, especially when there's a big lunk of a rooster on board.
Jan. 2, 2011, 08:48 PM
I've got hen saddles on mine. without the eyes though. We had seven hens, then down to six, and three roosters, which is way too many roosters, so we got rid of the two more aggressive roos and got the saddles. Now we are down to five hens, one was moulting and froze even with her saddle. Ours are pretty worn out and were always a bit tight, nobody ever escaped theirs.
I think the idea is big scary eyes and I don't know if it would work. From what I remember a predator develops a prey image based on how much effort it has to put out to be successful. So if they hit a hen and get to eat it they'll be back for more, eyes or no eyes. If they hit a couple of hens and never get to eat them they'll give up or starve trying.