Saturday, July 04, 2009

Harness for the Hen

This was fun! Emily figured it would be a really smart idea to have a harness for the hen that would be in the parade with her.

Originally, she thought the hen would walk with her, but we didn't really think a hen would "get" the idea of following on a leash. :) Still, the harness allowed Emily to attach a leash and gave her something to hold onto in case the chicken went nutso. They're known to do that--trust me.

We took a pair of her old size 8 khakis I'd held onto, just in case I might need the material "some day." I feel so justified now. :) Anyway, we had some measurements that Emily took of one of the hens--you know, the typical ones you always take: beak to tail, wing to wing across the chest, top of one wing across to the bottom of the other, etc.

We used the front of the pants for the chest, sort of like our dog's car harness, really. Then we cut strips from the legs and made them into tubes, pulled them right-side-out to make straps, and attached them at the top.

I used one pant leg hem to go very loosely around the hen's neck. I made a button-hole in it, and used the button from the front of the chest piece to attach it. Kind of clever, I thought. :)

I made several button holes at regular intervals on both straps since we really weren't sure which hen would be used and how snug the harness would need to be. I attached buttons to the bottom of the harness chest piece. The straps would criss-cross from above the wings, across the back, and then button down near the legs.

On a quick test, we realized that the hen could quickly slip out because the straps weren't sewn to each other and allowed for a lot of movement. Back to the sewing machine and a quick fix to that problem.

Later on, Emily tried it on another [un]willing model and saw that our fix worked great. She could attach a dog leash to a D-ring that was hooked through both the neck loop and the criss-crossed straps, just in case we had a run-away hen. Then she pulled out her Sharpies and colored the whole thing with blue and red, for the parade.

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debra said...

I can't imagine my chickens walking with a harness. Photos, please :-)

Silvia said...

We'll have to put her back in the harness and get some pics with the leash. :) Emily did walk with her in the yard to practice, but decided carrying would be better.