Are zip tie leg bands safe for free range chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheBanditQueen, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. TheBanditQueen

    TheBanditQueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope this is in the correct forum. I would like to mark my lookalike hens so I can tell apart the ones that started laying first. I read a great many pages here about using zip ties, but my number one question I didn't find an answer to.

    My chickens run around all day on 10 acres, with plenty of weeds, brush, mesquite, and a jungly overgrown garden with lots of dead stuff left over from before frost. If I put zip ties on their legs, will the ties catch on anything? Should they only be used in a coop/run situation?

    I don't want any hurt chickens. But I'd sure like to tell them apart if possible. I'm not expert enough to tell only by feeling and looking at them yet.

    So - can I use zip ties on free range?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes you can use them while free ranging. Is there a risk, yes. I would put it as less then you getting your clothes caught and can't get untangled.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Just make sure that they fit rather closely to the leg, enough so it moves freely on the leg but without a big gap between leg and the tie.

    If your birds are not full grown yet you may have to replace them once they start getting tight.
    Cutting right thru the ziptie lock with end cutters to get the old ones off has worked well for me, much easier than trying to get sidecutters between leg and tie.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I have used zip ties for years. The only advice i would add would be to make sure you trim the excess off after properly adjusting the zip tie. I have banded hundreds of chickens and never had a problems.
     
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  5. TheBanditQueen

    TheBanditQueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you guys! That makes me feel better about it.
     
  6. Utard

    Utard Chillin' With My Peeps

    And here the other day I thought I came up with a novel idea to leg bands? NOT! LOL

    Ok so was thinking this same thing. But my concern is after you put one on and clip it on has anyone had one get tighter all by itself? I was thinking to sand off some of the ribs that hold it on close the the end so that it physically could not get tighter. Or does that just sound like a waste of time?
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I have banded hundreds of chickens of all ages! I clip off all of the 'tail' right up to the little fastener. I have never had a zip tie tighten up all by themself. If you put a band on the leg of a growing chick, it MUST be checked EVERY WEEK. No exceptions! I use zip ties on all of my chickens, I track parentage and age!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
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  8. Utard

    Utard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok sounds good I will be doing this so I know what are the oldest ones to be able to cull them as they get older. What size do you use? Small, Medium or large?
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I am not sure what size I use, but I know it is not the skinniest one for adult chickens. One with a little size to it is probably better. I get mine at Wal~Mart.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
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  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Ok, a little research done..... I use 20cm zip ties on adults, and the smaller ones for peeps.
     
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