For me the ducks legs were larger than my roosters legs in diameter so I did not band them. I heard toe punching was a bad plan so I did not try that. Wing banding might work but I never got it accomplished as I could not even get it right on a chick. I watched and watched the wing banding videos and decided after a few attempts that for me I would have to see it in person before I could use it.
Personally I think the spiral bands or the numbered bands would come off in a lake or pond or pool. I would vote for zip ties even though that is a pain as the ducks grow so fast.
Aw nuts! I was hoping there would be an easy way to identify the ducks from each year. One of my daughter's friends said her duck eventually chewed off (somehow) zip ties. Our 3 ducklings hatched around October 8 so they're just a bit over 2 months old now & big! Any suggestions for integrating them with the rest of the flock? What would happen if we just added them to the others? Right now they're in a coop far enough away that they've never seen each other. The main flock is 10 hens & 3 drakes and they are about 1 1/2 years old.
Since the number of the smaller ducks is 3 and the older flock is larger with males, I would drag the process out:
I would put one older larger duck in with them and hope that they all got along well.
Then if that was going well after 48 hours add another older larger duck.
Then add another 1 or 2 duck hens again in 48 hours or so. That would make the mixed aged flock 6 / 7 ducks 0 drakes and the older only flock 6/7 hens and 3 drakes.
I would let the mixed flock settle in for a week or so till the 3-4 older ducks started mothering the younger ones around.
Then I would get all prepared for a big switch. I would put the 3 drakes and 4 of the older hens in the pen that had been for the younger ones. At the same time I would put the younger ones with their new protectors in the older pen with a trio of the older duck hens.
Give that a week and combine the 2 flocks.
Another option is to wait a month or so until the 3 littles get a bit larger and have some weight on them right now at 8 weeks they are mostly fluff compared the full sized. They look as big but not weigh as much ~ or at least that is what happened with my ducks.
If the 3 littles are 3-3.5 months old, then put the drakes in their pen and add the little ones to the hen only duck flock. Let them settle in for a week or so and add the drakes back in.