Banding Question


7 Years
Aug 15, 2012
Dixie, WA
As our flock is expanding, I am considering using bands as a management tool to help me know what year a hen was born. I plan on banding them just as they are ready to leave the "baby pen" and go in with the rest of the flock, so not quite full grown pullets. I am wondering about band sizes. I can obviously see the problem with a band that is too tight, but are there any detriments to a band that is loose (as long as it isn't so big it falls off of course!)?
I am thinking of using split-ring type bands that don't require an applicator. I would love to hear any pros/cons to this type.
I am obviously a newbie at this, so your help is appreciated!
My experience with any type of leg bands began this year with chicks. I read on byc about using colored zip ties to differentiate between chicks from staggered hatches, breeds etc. I also started using colored zip ties for when I feather sex. If done as chicks I leave the zip tie loose enough to move for growth of the chick but not loose enough to fall over the back claw. Checking the bands frequently isn't a problem if you're tending chicks daily. When the chick has grown enough for the band to be only a bit loose I use small wire cutters to change them out. Once the chicks are juveniles or reach adult size it is no problem to simply use a wider zip tie and leave a bit of room enough to spin the band (zip tie) in case you have to remove it later and for comfort. The wider zip ties are hard to find in multiple colors but clear ones can be written on with a sharpie. As for a too loose band- u don't want it to be able to slide down over the spur or below the ankle. When ordering actual bands catalogs usually have if the sizes generally fit bantam, standard or heavy breeds. I've never seen any bands advertised for chicks. Anxious to know more as well...thanks for starting this topic!
The zip ties are an excellent idea for chicks! I won't be banding as chicks though... not until they are mature enough to go out with the rest of the flock. I was hoping I could put a big enough band on these pullets that it would still fit when they are adults, thus avoiding having to re-band them, but I didn't know if there were dangers associated with the bands being too loose (other than it falling off -- I wouldn't have them THAT loose). It sound like as long as it doesn't fall over the claw we should be good, but I will wait to see if anyone else has input. Thank you very much for chiming in!
Sounds like a good idea. Don't forget to have heavy duty cutters like wire cutters on hand because the width of scissors make it hard to cut off bands if needed.

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