Holes between toes...toe tags?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by AinaWGSD, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure where this should go as it's not really an injury and it isn't really flock management either but could have been related to either in the past. I brought home a lovely little (ok, maybe not quite so little as she is now the largest chicken I own at 2560g) blue orpington pullet this weekend from the Crossroads show in Indiana. This evening, when I brought her in the house to get her weight and deworm her I noticed that she has a hole in the webbing between her toes. Four holes, actually, one between each toe. I was wondering if this was from something like a toe tag for identification or if it could be a natural "defect."

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    Here is a picture of the foot with the largest holes. The other foot has holes in the same locations, just slightly smaller (I do have a picture of that one too if it would be helpful, I just haven't uploaded it)
     
  2. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    Looks like a toe tag to me!
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    It's called toe punching, and is used for identification of one sort or another. Different breeders may use different punch patterns to indicate different things.
     
  4. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Many breeders punch holes in the webbing to help track certain birds. Easier and cheaper than banding.
     
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    It's called a toe punch, it was made using a tool that punches a hole in the thin fleshy portion between the toes, sort of like a hole puncher used to punch holes in paper. This method is used by some breeders to help ID birds according to their breeding history's and lineage. Punching a hole in a any one of the 6 places on both feet let's the breeder develop his own way to ID birds. hope this helps.
     
  6. emmalynn

    emmalynn Silkies Sebbies OEGBs

    Oct 16, 2008
    Middle TN
    I saw "toe tags" in your title and vision of little chicken morgues went flying through my head....time for more coffee or a shower and off to bed.
     
  7. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    Here's my question to all of you:

    How does this work? I can't seem to fathom how it actually works. Do you make a punch in each web for a certain line? Bird? Hatch?
     
  8. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I can see it now, those little toe tags with names such as C. Fricassee, C. AlaKing, and C. Potpie.

    Anyway, thanks for the explanation guys. So toe punching is like a breeder's secret code or tattoo to help them keep track of birds. And it doesn't affect the showabilty of the birds? I guess I always thought that a hole in the foot would be considered undesirable in a show because I had it in my head somewhere that in most dog breeds things like scars are marked down unless the standard specifically states that they are ok.
     
  9. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Quote:If the feet are facing you, then you have 4 spots you can punch. 1 2 3 4
    Lets say you decide the right foot is your sire record and the left is the hen. You assign #'s to your breeders and then punch toes accordingly. You can have 3 sires using different punches: 1/ 1&2/ 2. Track hen's offspring the same way, and you can let all chicks run together and yet still know, as soon as you pick up a bird, who it's dad and mom are. Then you know who's making the best crosses after they grow up.

    Or if you keep the records differentl, then you can punch a certain pattern for certain hatches, and then let them run together. No worries about in-grown bands, bands that fall off, paint that washes away, or any of that mess.
     
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Quote:Have you ever seen the ear notching method commonly used on pig's ears, well this works the same way.
    With six possible places to mark you could literaly have hundreds of distinct ways to ID them, and yes the patterns determined
    by the breed can be used to trace rooter lines, hen lines, brood and hatch number, traits, color, genetics, etc etc.
     

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