Choosing Leg Bands and a Warning!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ni22, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. ni22

    ni22 Chirping

    Jan 20, 2013
    When I became a first time chicken owner I relied very heavily on this forum for advice and I cannot tell you how valuable this site is!!

    There is one thing that I never came across as a newbie and wanted to share with others...

    When choosing leg bands for my girls I spent HOURS on here reading about all the different options, weighing the pros and cons, etc. Finally, I settled on using little girl's rubber hair bands because I didn't need a lot and they were readily accessible and cheap, I could put them on and take them off easily by myself, etc. They have worked fabulous for many years. I had to change them very frequently when the girls were small but when they matured the bands fit perfectly, though they do occasionally fall off from the rubber being exposed to the weather and becoming brittle. Because of this I always band both legs and usually only replace the bands when several of the girls are down to one band each.

    That being said, one of my girls lost a band on one leg- I didn't worry about adding another because she still had one on the other leg and the other girls still had both theirs. Then I noticed she was limping. I examined her and found that she had a case of bumblefoot. I treated it and it healed nicely, the rest of leg looked good. Later on she was still limping and I kept checking her foot and her leg and couldn't find anything wrong! I even had my husband look multiple times and he couldn't find the source of her issue either. Finally, (unfortunately a few days later) I was checking her again (frustrated that I couldn't find out what is wrong) and she started bleeding. I still couldn't figure out what was going on so I laid her on the kitchen counter covered her with a towel and began carefully cutting away her leg feathers to find the source of the wound. That is when I found it- the pesky band that I had thought had fallen off from the weather had somehow managed to wiggle it's way all the way up her poor leg and had caused a pretty good wound. Because it was in her feathers it was very difficult to see. We treated and bandaged her wound but I feel awful! I had no idea that the bands could slip up like that. I knew that it was important to make sure that they don't outgrown the bands and thus cause it to cut into the bird's leg- and I have always been very diligent in making sure the bands were fitting properly.

    Anyhow, I did some research and found that this isn't totally uncommon or unheard of (even with other types of bands) and I wish I had known to watch out for it so I wanted to share my experience with others so they will know to keep an eye out for it and hopefully poor Clarabell's pain will not have been in vain.
    1 person likes this.
  2. sparrker

    sparrker Songster

    Aug 12, 2011
    Baldwinsville, NY
    Thanks for the advice. I have used spiral bands and they eventually break also. I am going to stick with using colored zip ties, Just leave them loose enough that when the grow they won't cut into their legs. I put them on when they are full grown.

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