Bandette users only please...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NTBugtraq, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    I have BCM chicks to hens. My goal is to band them all, and I have decided I would prefer to use a Bandette. What I am trying to figure out is;

    What size of bandette from 4 weeks to 12 weeks
    What size of bandette from 12 weeks to 1year

    Cockerels will not need to be banded after 18 weeks.

    Please, surely someone has enough experience with BCM leg size to make an honest guess. The bandettes aren't cheap, and I could have up to 400 birds at any given time, so I have to buy like > $100 worth of bandettes to make this work. Getting the wrong size would be expensive and suck.

    I will take the majority view, so just make an informed suggestion.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The only birds I raise that I use numbered bandettes on are Black Penedesencas which are the larger of the 4 varieties but still may have a bit smaller legs than marans.
    I've translated from Catalonian the sizes needed for cocks and hens and mine can't use bands that large, however I recently discovered those recommendations are for the improved (larger) version. I have the classic.

    #9 has been sufficient for all the hens.

    What I did, and you may want to do so as well is get #7 and #9.
    I used to only use colored zip ties till they were mature. But now I use different colors based on the year they hatch and as soon as they're big enough I use #7 in the appropriate color and when they start getting tight I switch to #9.
    I bought 7, 9 and 11. Only mature roosters get 11.
    I use the same color code used for queen bees. Queen bees use 5 colors, I do the same for the chickens.
    white for years ending in 1 & 6,
    yellow - 2, 7
    red - 3, 8 ... for chickens I use orange
    green - 4, 9
    blue - 5, 0
    This way I can tell how old a bird is by looking at the color of the leg band. Each year the numbers can them start over.

    Even when they fit well, bandettes can be lost so keep an eye on them regularly so missing bands can be replaced before you lose track of the bird.
    Wing bands may be better but I'm good with bandettes for now.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I also use the numbered plastic bands, color coded by the year. Most of my hens wear #9, some #11, and my biggest rooster has a zip tie. I tend to wait until later winter or spring, so I band once. With small numbers and hatches, it works for me. Sometimes bands come off; I watch. This year I tried some of the snap-on bands, but they weren't numbered. CAUTION! A few years ago, one of my roosters 'lost' his band, the started limping. The spiral band climbed over his hock, and caused major soft tissue damage. He recovered fully, after surgery to debride the nasty wound and antibiotics. Not a good experience. Make sure the missing band isn't still on the bird. Mary
  4. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Thank you for this. I have decided that I am going to use zip ties after all. They are by far the cheapest (300 for like C$9, versus like C$60 for 400 bandettes). I'm doing 13 settings of 100 next year, so bandettes just wouldn't end up being economical.
  5. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Thank you Folly's, I could not figure out how I could remove those clip together bands. I bought 100 and then closed one, and tried to get it open. If it had been on a birds leg, I'm sure I would have done some harm. Using a nail file or something to pry them open, I realized, takes 2 ppl. So I probably would have ended up cutting them off, making them not re-usable, and at their price...definitely not economical for the number of birds I and trying to track.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You guys have me thinking.
    It is frustrating to have 2 birds lose leg bands at the same time. I wonder if a dab of silicone along the seam would keep them from coming off prematurely but you could still run a razor along the seam to break the bond to take them off.

    I hadn't even considered using bandettes until they were mature enough.

    Be extremely careful with zip ties. I usually set a schedule to change them. This past winter I had a huge number of chicks and apparently one cockerel and 2 pullets were growing a bit faster than the others. Their ties cut into their legs badly. They survived but I'm still doing therapy on one of the pullet's foot.

    That's the main reason I decided to use bandettes earlier so I got #7s as well so I didn't have as big of a concern.

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