The Hamilton Adjustable Soft Mesh Hen Harness was created for chicken owners who not only want to be able to guide their birds when taken out of their pen, but to also do so in style. The harness is available in two sizes, rooster and hen, and it’s also adjustable for a custom fit. Being made of a soft, breathable mesh makes it comfortable for the bird, and it’s also completely washable, which makes it pleasant for the bird owner. Available in several colors, the harness also features a metal D-ring for leash attachment and black brushed nylon bindings on the edges for added strength and comfort.
Rather than test the harness on a chicken, we decided to try the product on Baldrick and Sabrina, two ducks that we wanted to get some exercise outside of their pen area. Baldrick is a male Khaki Campbell, while Sabrina is a female Cayuga.
The biggest issue with the harness was the most obvious one. Neither of the ducks had experience putting on or wearing the product. But luckily, Baldrick and Sabrina are very easygoing birds, so it didn’t take too much effort to fit the harness over their heads and around their wings. In fact, we think Baldrick enjoyed showing off for the hens while posing next to the harness.
Like any pet, ducks and chickens come in different sizes, so there was some minor adjustment needed between each bird, with Sabrina being quite larger than Baldrick. We worked slowly in sliding the harness over each duck’s head, and we found the plastic side buckle to be very easy to use for securing and removing the harness.
We took each of the ducks for a long walk on a leash that was well over six feet long (which is considered the appropriate leash length for walking poultry), and our test birds appeared to be generally accepting of their unusual situation. We got the feeling that the harness was so lightweight that the birds quickly forgot they were wearing it. Thus, they quacked in glee as they waddled across the field.
The safety of our ducks is paramount to us. Baldrick and Sabrina live in an area where it’s dangerous for them to free range because of predators like hawks, so the harness is a great solution for giving them exercise and allowing them to see the world outside of their pen. And the harness enabled us to have excellent control over them while they wandered in an open area.
Ducks aren’t like dogs, so we weren’t expecting Baldrick and Sabrina to respond to commands or wiggle their tails while waiting for us to toss a toy for them to fetch. It was more of a “we’re exercising with our duck” moment.
It’s important to note that not every chicken or duck will be mellow when you’re putting the harness on them and relaxed wearing it while on a leash. It might take some time to get the bird accustomed to it. It’s important not to stress the bird out. A properly fitting harness is also key; ducks can be escape artists by pulling their necks down into their chests and thus sliding out from the harness. In addition, it is recommended that you remove the harness before putting the birds to bed, as that will prevent the harness from getting caught on the pen or coop.