Can you band them as they hatch?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Des R, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Des R

    Des R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2016
    Maryland / Delaware
    I've never hatched eggs before, I super excited. My question is can I band them as they are hatching? My hope is to band them by the egg color they hatched that a reasonable goal? This will tell me the breed of each since some of them will look exactly the same as chicks. For example, my purebred cream legbars will be hatched from the blue eggs, but my cream legbar x welsummer crosses will be hatched from the olive eggs. The hens themselves look so much alike, it will be impossible to tell them apart until they begin laying eggs themselves.

    So here are my questions:

    1) If I hover over the incubator like a crazy woman, is there a chance I'll be able to band them before they are too mixed up? I plan to sort the colored eggs to each side of the incubator in hope that would help...

    2) What kind of bands would I use and how do you put them on?

    3) What size for baby chicks?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    How about making life a little easier for yourself. Instead of trying to grab them as they hatch, separate the eggs. I’ve had hatches last over 48 hours. Do you want to hover over the incubator that long? Make baskets out of hardware cloth or something similar so you can contain the chicks as they hatch. Maybe use plastic mesh boxes fruit sometimes come in, the boxes not the netting. Don’t let the chicks mix to start with. Put the baskets over the eggs so the chicks can’t crawl out, open side down. Use your imagination for what you have, can make, or can get.

    You could get some small colored zip ties to band then but I wouldn’t. They grow so fast it would be easy for the zip ties to get so tight it injures their leg. I suggest you use food coloring on a spot on their down. You’ll have to keep up with that as they shed down and feather out, but it’s a lot safer than putting bands on their legs.
  3. BusyStFarmer

    BusyStFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2016
  4. Des R

    Des R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2016
    Maryland / Delaware
    I love the idea of creating a separation within the incubator, that's perfect! Thank you.

    But I will still need to band them somehow once moved to the brooder. I just invested in large heating plate (like the Brinsea Ecoglow 50), a new brooder box with pull out trays for cleaning, and a new waterer with horizontal nipples. Since this is my first hatch, it doesn't make sense for me to get double of everything, I have several hundred invested in the one set up... but I have high hopes this will be much better than the baby pool/pine shavings/messy water/heat lamp fiasco I had when I ordered my chicks. [​IMG]

    I'm not too worried about them outgrowing the bands, I'd be removing them as I sell the chicks and I'm diligent about all of the animals in my care.

    Thank you for the link, I'll start there.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I separate the eggs in the bator......then band the chicks as I move them from bator to brooder after they dry.
    Trying to grab them just as they hatch would be difficult and detrimental to the hatch process,
    letting out critical humidity and maybe chilling the just emerged wet chick... I would not want to handle a just hatched chick all covered with hatching gunk-eww.

    This search may garner some ideas for how to do it.
    Advanced search> titles only>incubation and hatching forum>separating eggs.

    I use small zipties, they work great!..... but, yes, you have to change them out as they grow.
    The right tools make it easier....
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

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