What the heck is a chicken diaper? Is it a dance, a gadget, a new game, or a name you call someone who irritates you? No, it’s exactly what the name says it is. You put it on a real live chicken so it can come in the house and not leave little (or big) messes all over the place. The amount of poop a chicken creates depends on who you ask. Some say they poop 3 to 6 times a day, while others call them a constant poop machine. I understand that composted chicken poop makes great fertilizer for your garden.
I have a gourding friend name Kayla. Kayla, like so many others these days, has backyard chickens. One day she was over and discovered I sew, A LOT. She hinted, not too subtly (Kayla doesn’t do subtle), that I should make her some chicken diapers. Not convinced, I made her come with me to the computer to look them up. Sure enough chicken diapers are a real thing. You can buy them online or you can find instructions on how to make them.
I thought, if I actually made some, I could say that the weirdest things I’ve ever made were chicken diapers and a gourd egg turner. You know, those things you use to turn chicken eggs in an incubator to keep all sides warm before they hatch. Really, do weird and chickens go together?
To make chicken diapers you start with soft fabric and soft elastic so nothing chafes their sensitive skin and feathers. There is a pouch that goes over the nasty end to catch the poop. Did you know that chickens don’t urinate, they only poop. The pouch is connected to a strip of fabric that lays over the abdomen and chest. The pouch and chest strip are connected together over the back by the soft elastic in such a way that it doesn’t wring their neck or hamper their wings in any way. Sometimes people put pretty bows or other decorations on the chicken’s back. I saw one chicken diaper that was made with a full cape to cover an entire neurotic chicken so he couldn’t pull out his own feathers.
So first, I drew up a pattern for the chest/belly strap and pouch based on a compilation of the various patterns I saw online. I hemmed the strap to make it neat and connected it to the pouch. I added a bit of elastic to the pouch to help keep the poop in. Next, I securely added 2 pieces of elastic to the end of the strap and 2 more to the pouch end. The final design problem was how to connect the 4 pieces of elastic so they can be somewhat adjustable and the chicken diaper would also stay down the center of the back away from the wings. I didn’t want something that had to go over the chicken’s head and bother their comb. I also didn’t want something where you had to push or pull their wings through. I decided to connect it with Velcro placed onto matching fabric squares attached to the ends of each elastic. That way it can open up entirely but be connected when closed. One of the squares is actually a rectangle so it would connect to all the other pieces. After that, I saw no reason not to add a bit of embellishment for the pretty hens.
The only thing left is to add folded paper towel into the pouch and then tuck the chicken’s derriere into the pouch, connect the Velcro and see if I have to go back to the drawing board. I expect the chicken to fuss a bit about having to wear a diaper. Hopefully, it will get use to it and see the advantage of being able to come in the house and socialize.
Update: This chicken diaper fit the Bantam Rooster, named Einstein, perfectly and was too small for the larger chickens. It didn’t seem to bother Einstein too much as he posed nicely for a fashion photo shoot. He then ran over to his coop mates to confer about his new fashion accessory.