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How to mark chicks for identification?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Any advice on how I can mark chicks (hatching today) so that I can tell them apart? I have eggs from three of my hens and they so far are all hatching black (bcm and bcm/ameraucana crosses) Is it too early to put mini zip ties on their legs? That is how I've tagged a few of my adults so I know what color they lay.

Any other suggestions? Keeping them in seperate brooders isn't an option.

By the way, we've been showing our hatches live online all day and will probably continue through the night... check it out if you need a chick hatch fix! Www.wantless.net
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Want less. Live more.

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post #2 of 7

For brand new hatches, I normally just use a dot of food color on their chests or heads (depending on what color they are).  Their little legs seem so fragile, I normally don't band until after a few weeks, when the food coloring starts to wear off. 

 

I know lots of people who band at hatching using the small plastic slip rings, though, and have no problems.

post #3 of 7

I've used zip ties on 3wk olds - but not hatchlings before.  With the 3wkers, I changed the zip ties every 5-7 days to make sure they never got too tight.  Depending on how many chicks you have, this might be time consuming (I had 12 chicks and it'd take up to an hour to change their ties, weigh 'em and take a picture of them weekly to chart progress).

 

Since they're all going to be black chicks - could you mark only the ones from the hen you MOST want to track?  I know my Storey's guide to chickens recommends wing banding for id as an alternative to ankle banding.  If all of 'em have 'em, it won't be like some are different.  Although mine pecked at their 'bracelets' for a good week!  Both their own, the sister next to them, the brother by the feeder.....!  But no one drew blood.

 

HTH   

-- Blessed are the flexible, for they will not break --

Beloved spouse of wonderful husband, Mom to two men-in-training, 4 Eastern 3-toed box turtles, 1 spoiled parrotlet, 1 playful feline and a jealous dog.  20 Black Java laying flock.  Love our Java's!  Meaties growin' in the barn.  Bees humming in the garden.  Orchard going in.  Work never ever completed - but loving it! 

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-- Blessed are the flexible, for they will not break --

Beloved spouse of wonderful husband, Mom to two men-in-training, 4 Eastern 3-toed box turtles, 1 spoiled parrotlet, 1 playful feline and a jealous dog.  20 Black Java laying flock.  Love our Java's!  Meaties growin' in the barn.  Bees humming in the garden.  Orchard going in.  Work never ever completed - but loving it! 

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post #4 of 7

There is a person on our group that uses the mini ties right from hatching...she changes them every 2 weeks if needed.  She uses a system (only known to her) of 1-2 or 3 bands and can tell who hatches from what pair and on what date etc...I admire her greatly!  Terri O

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of summer with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=245700

Join us at our yearly Bash! http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash


My Motto: " Don't just do it, overdo it"

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of summer with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=245700

Join us at our yearly Bash! http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash


My Motto: " Don't just do it, overdo it"

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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips! I decided to go the food coloring route, and I dabbed it with a qtip on their chest fuzz since all of their heads are black/dark gray. 

 

I hatched 5 full BCM chicks and then 6 BCM/Ameraucana chicks from two different Ameraucana hens. Im using the coloring to identify which AM/BCM cross chicks came from which Ameraucana hen so I can track egg color outcome. When they get older I will band their legs like normal. All 11 chicks are off my BCM rooster. This is our second hatch off him this year and so far I'm very happy with the results of both times :)

Want less. Live more.

www.WantLess.net
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Want less. Live more.

www.WantLess.net
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post #6 of 7

Our feed store has bands of various colors ... red, purple, yellow, orange, etc. It helps us tell them apart. Right now our "yellow" is the only one laying eggs.

post #7 of 7
I know this is an old thread but can someone explain how u band these chicks if the incubator is on lock down til they all are hatched?
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