My evil roosters' evil ways forced me to buy a couple of these this morning -
That's right it's a hen's saddle (also known as an apron), meant to protect a young lady's feathers from the amorous assaults of a rooster, or in our case, two roosters. The boys tend to grab at the girls' neck and back feathers with their beaks, and sometimes even dig in with their spurs during mating, leaving a poor hennie quite a bit worse for the wear. Two of my girls in particular, Rose & Annabel are looking just pitiful these days. Liv says that they look half-plucked. I wouldn't go that far, but they are missing quite a few feathers, especially in the neck and tail regions. Poor babies! And of course just as soon as the poor girls were plucked, the overnight temperatures start dropping like a rock.
Enter the apron. I'm hoping that these will at least offer my girls a little extra warmth until their feathers grow back. The evil roosters - aka the terror twins, Harold the Terrible and Scout the Destroyer are about to be taken out of the equation, if you know what I mean. ;)
It wasn't easy to break that bit of news to the kids, I assure you, especially so soon after losing Eglantine to the road. However, they seem to have made peace with the idea that the boys need to go in order to save our sweet lassies from being plucked/tormented to death. They have even begun referring to the doomed roos as Chicken Strip and Chicken Burger, and eye them with the most venomous disdain for reducing our once-lovely hennies to the skittish, scraggly messes that they are at the moment.
The boys having been whooping it up for a while now, but come this weekend, the ladies of the coop will be having the last laugh. After deposing our two mean and nasty roosters, the reign of Mr. Jeffries the Gentle shall commence. He is a very mellow boy (at least so far) and has never participated in the frat boy behavior of the evil boys. Let us hope that he will have learned a lesson from his doomed predecessors and be a kind and gentle man o' the house. Or else, buddy, or else...