ANY way, to "label" chickens during daylight hours?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HotDesertChick, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. HotDesertChick

    HotDesertChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    5
    64
    Jan 4, 2015
    Southern New Mexico
    My pullets: 7 Welsummers & 10 Black Marans are approaching 4 months in age. They thrive, along with the wonderful tiny bantams that share their World.

    I need to figure out some way of "marking" the young "big hens" during daylight hours. I HAVE to cull some of these 17 pullets, but trying to "mark" any when they're on the roost at night is nearly impossible. I hope I can select the best of the pullets for type. Hard to evaluate via flashlight with sleeping chickens?

    I can trap them inside the coop, but prefer NOT to cause total pandemonium/chaos. They feel secure in their coop, so I hesitate to "go at them with a net", scaring the Bejeebers out of the entire flock. Marking all-black chickens is especially hard?

    Any ideas for "tagging" during daylight hours ? Call me Stumped.

    Thanks......
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,620
    17,755
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi Stumped [​IMG],

    Since it appears your girls are not very people-friendly, if its possible, I'd suggest waiting until they begin laying - they usually seem a little calmer and friendlier then. Additionally, you will know which are the best layers after a couple of months of laying. You could put leg rings on them for now, and then keep an eye on who is laying what. I have read here that putting food dye on the vents of hens helps identify who has laid - I bought some food dye this weekend and and I'm going to try it.

    I try to socialise my birds so that i know i can walk up to any of them and pick them up. It does not work for a select few, but on the whole, it works - possibly something to consider for the future.

    CT
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    go out at night and put leg bands on. Zip ties work well, and you can get different colors and use left and right to get a different combo for each of your hens of each breed. Then, in the daylight, you can go out with a notebook and write down who is a keeper---blue right, yellow left, etc.

    Or, if you need to catch them in the daylight, a net really isn't too bad a way to go. I've done it, and while they do get pretty stirred up, it's short lived and there's no lasting trauma or anything.
     
  4. HotDesertChick

    HotDesertChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    5
    64
    Jan 4, 2015
    Southern New Mexico
    Thanks, donrae & CTKen for your comments.

    I really don't want to keep my ALL of my pullets until they start laying. I will have to take a chance on selling, and/or eating, the best layers...sigh.

    I think I will try using wide plastic Bandettes (thanks for the banding tips). If I buy wide plastic bands, I can also make additional "custom marks" with a Sharpie pen? (don't know how long the marks would last?).

    I am having problems finding multi-colored packs of bands (except from China). Anyone,.. know where I can order numbered, MULTI-colored bands that will fit large hens? No such bands are available in my area. Cutler's Pheasant Supply sells the numbered Bandettes, but NOT in mixed colors.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Have you checked Stromberg's? They have lots of banding supplies.

    enola said she used regular zip ties and put pony beads on in different colors. You could try that, it would be easier to find the ties all in the same color.
     
  6. HotDesertChick

    HotDesertChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    5
    64
    Jan 4, 2015
    Southern New Mexico
    Great comment... about the pony beads added to plain ol' two-color zip ties, donrae. You gotta Noodle, me don't.

    Call me Simple? I also do beading, and have a big stash o'beads (not very many big-holed beads though). Amazingly cheap/simple solution that sounds like a workable, "identifiable solution". Hooray,.....I could just buy readily-available black or "clear" zip ties at my local big-box store and add a "personalized tracking solution". Cheap & easy, if we own less than 10 thousand birds.

    Unfortunately, tonight...I ordered some numbered Bandettes through Cutlers Pheasant Supply. Sigh.

    Gotta LOVE these people on BYC! Amazing group.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Well thank you, but I got the idea from enola. She uses it on chicks. I'm keeping it in mind for when I'm sorting this year's pullets when they've grown out more.
     
  8. silky ma

    silky ma Chillin' With My Peeps

    391
    13
    164
    Sep 14, 2007
    I try to keep lighter colored chickens and have had great results using colored marking pens and a note book. Very dark.... Possibly wing feather cutting???
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by