In essence, they are the same thing. "chicken saddle" is a term more commonly used in the UK while "chicken apron" is more commonly used in the US.
A poultry saddle is usually made from a tough material such as canvas or leather to protect the back of a hen during mating. The saddle is held on by straps that go under the chicken's wings.
Unlike other saddles, Chicken Armor's patent-pending design uses a reinforced scrim vinyl instead of traditional materials.
What makes Chicken Armor Hen Saddles better?
We at Chicken Armor are not so bold to claim that our saddles are better than others on the market.
In fact, before we developed Chicken Armor, we thought the chicken saddles on the market at that time were fairly priced considering the labor that goes into making them.
However, we simply could not afford to buy the number of saddles we needed. So, we developed our own hen saddle.
We don't claim to be better, only different, with a unique patent-pending design and material.
What's this? Paper?!?
Chicken Armor Saddles are not made from paper. Our saddles are hand-made from durable, reinforced vinyl. It doesn't look like much, but it's tough and it works.
After years of testing, it has proven itself to withstand not only the rigors of being on a free-ranging hen, but also the intense Colorado summer sun, and the harsh -40F Colorado winter temperatures.
Why are your chicken aprons so much cheaper?
Through a lot of trial and error and years of testing, we have come up with a patent-pending design that we can produce quickly while still being very effective in protecting the chickens. We have also experimented with various materials and settled on a light durable material that we think would not only be more comfortable on the chicken but also strong enough to withstand the rigors of a chicken coop while still being very reasonably priced.
It was also chosen to be easily cleaned - just hose it clean. No more hand/machine washing and ironing!
I read that use of water-proof material makes the aprons too slick for the rooster to slide off. Is this true?
False. We have carefully chosen material that is NOT slick. We have tested our design on our flock for over 3 years. The roosters do not have any problems during mating and will NOT fall off.
I read that your material is not breathable. Is that important?
Even though Chicken Armor chicken saddles are made from impervious material, our aprons are designed to sit lightly on a chicken, resting just on top of the chicken's feathers, allowing air-flow.
Our design is such that it only covers the important parts of the hen's back. It will also contour on the shoulder area allowing for air movement under the apon.
The use of light-weight material also allows for easier chicken movement and will not weigh or unbalance the chicken as much as a traditional saddle made out of thick, heavy material would.
Will it cause mites?
In areas where mites live on chickens,it is important to check under the saddles as mites/lice might take advantage of the additional cover.
This is an important step regardless of what kind of saddle you decide to use.
What sizes do they come in?
We have 3 sizes: standard, medium and bantam. We will ship standard size aprons unless you specify otherwise. Medium sizes are only recommended for small-sized Standard chickens like small White Leghorns and phesants. Bantams sizes will fit small breeds like Silkies.
How long will my order take to ship?
We try to ship orders out within 1-2 business days. We are very grateful for the wonderful response we've received from customers. Chicken Armor has been more popular than we expected. Depending on how backlogged we are, orders may take 1-2 weeks to ship.
We understand that businesses like Amazon can get orders to you in 2 days. However, please understand that we are a micro-business. These are made by hand and all orders are processed by hand by just the 2 of us. We do have jobs outside of this business as well as kids so sometimes, orders may take 1-2 weeks to ship, depending on how backlogged we are.
What if it doesn't quite fit?
If you have a huge chicken, our aprons are designed such that you can extend the wing holes A LITTLE by just cutting it with a pair of scissors CAREFULLY. Based on our on flock sizing, our standard-sized aprons should fit up to a Rhode Island Red rooster or a Jersey Giant hen without additional modification.
How do I put it on?
The best time to put the aprons on are when the chickens are roosting.
You can see an illustrated version of how to put them on here.
The best way I can describe the way to put them on is that they go on like you would put a vest on, wings (bent - ie the way they naturally sit bent - do not try to put on the aprons with the wings stretched out) put through the wing hole. Make sure that all the wing feathers come through the wing hole. Pull the apron through such that the strap rests on the chicken's 'shoulder'. Repeat for the other side.
What's the difference between standard and premium material?
The premium material is 1/3 thicker than our standard material. It also has more internal reinforcement compared to the standard.
Do these aprons look like traditional aprons?
NO. This is a unique design with unconventional durable material which we have come up with. Again, it was designed to be very affordable and effective. These are designed for utility NOT to look like chicken clothing! If you want to dress your chicken up, this apron is NOT it!
I lost my chickens to predators. Will the eye decals stop this?
We cannot 100% guarantee that having predator eyes on the chickens will stop predators 100%. Chickens often 'freeze' when a predator attacks, allowing for a quick kill, usually by the neck. The presence of the eye decals makes the chicken wearing it appear as if it is part of a much larger animal. The eyes are meant to make predators think twice before attacking.
However, all animals are different and will act differently. We cannot predict how your particular predator will react to the eye decals.
Are there other colors other than white?
At this time, we only offer it in white. We are looking to add more colors and prints in the future!
Where are the aprons made?
All aprons are handmade in Colorado, USA.
What if I receive the apron and I'm not happy?
We urge you to please try the aprons on your chickens. If you're not convinced, please just try one. Instructions on how to put the saddle on can be found here. We want you to be happy with our product and strive to keep improving it. If, after trying it, you're still not happy, send the unused aprons back to us for a full refund*. Shipping & return shipping costs are non-refundable.
Do you offer chicken-keeping guides?
We are working on an e-book for beginner chicken keepers.
You claim to donate 1% of sales to charity. How do I know this is true?
We used to donate weekly without any public record. However, we've decided that it would be neat if everyone could see how much we've raised/donated. We've therefore partnered with JustGiving.com to help us with this. Our original beneficiaries were St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Wikipedia, and our local charity, the Mountain Resource Center in Conifer, CO. However, JustGiving, a UK-based non-profit, does not have these charities on their service list. Therefore, we have decided to donate to SmileTrain. We think it is a good cause.
Donations will be sent once a week if at least $2 is raised. If not, we will send the donation when we reach the minimum $2 mark. If you'd like to help our cause, please donate here
How do you ship?
We ship all orders via USPS. If you need orders shipped UPS, please let us know. Additional charges will apply. For more information, please refer to our Shipping Policy Page.
Who are we?
ChickenArmor.com comes from being passionate about being as self-sufficient as possible. Our homesteading journey started with our chickens. We became frustrated with how badly our hens would peck each other.
Neither one of us is good at sewing so making them was out. We didn't want to spend money on a saddle that costed more than the chicken itself, so buying them was out. We certainly didn't want to launder them, so washing them traditionally was out.
To suit our needs, we finally came up with our own chicken apron/saddle which believe is simply gives you a better bang for your buck, especially if you have a larger flock to saddle!