A lot of hens look alike, how would you keep track of which one is laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Coexist, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Coexist

    Coexist New Egg

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    Jul 31, 2014
    I have 4 hens that look almost exactly the same. Is there something in particular you would do to keep the different hens distinguishable? They are all free range in a very large coop and run. Will a particular hen always try to lay in the same spot?
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was in the same boat as you for a while. I have 4 RIR hens and at the start they all looked alike. In time, their combs grew out differently - some flopped over, some were bigger. It helped me to tell them apart. I also came to know over time who like to lay in which nest. Unfortunately 3/4 like the same one! Typical chicken law!

    You could try some coloured leg bands to identify them. Usually, mine will lay in their own favourite nest, so it would give you enough information to be able to say "Red band lays in the window nest" and "Green band lays in the corner nest."

    They are quite tricky though, and can change nests for no apparent reason if the mood takes them!

    I have also heard of people putting different coloured food dye around the chickens vent, so you can see if Red Bird or Green bird laid that day. I have no idea if this is safe to do or not, and don't do it myself, but I have heard of it being done [​IMG]

    Hope this give you some ideas.

    - Krista
     
  3. Renee572

    Renee572 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 barred rocks that looked very similar for many many weeks. As they got bigger I could tell that one had darker legs and a darker beak and now she is the one with the bigger and brightest comb and wattles out of the 2. I think you will eventually tell them apart. Good luck.
     
  4. Renee572

    Renee572 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    interesting! Is the dye supposed to rub off on the egg as it is laid?
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, apparently it is.

    Like I said, I've never tried it myself though, and have no idea if it is a safe practise or not.

    Perhaps some more experienced chicken owners might like to chime in on this one?

    - Krista
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Leg bands. I use different colors for each year's hatchlings, and the numbered bands to ID individuals. You can use colored zip ties for a very small number of birds. Mary
     
  7. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    $6 at the hardware store. Lifetime supply of colored leg bands :)

    [​IMG]

    I've heard of the food-dye technique as well, but have never tried it. I've also seen pictures of nest-boxes that close behind the chicken when they go in to lay and you have to let them out manually.
     

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