How do you label/tag your chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sarahandbray, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Songster

    Aug 12, 2014
    Ok, so I have searched the forum and the jury seems like it's still out on how to label chickens. I don't want to do anything like a toe punch or wing tags or anything.
    I have an incubator full of 36 eggs due to hatch next Tues (not this Tues) and want to get myself all set up with ankle tags for whomever hatches.
    I have an order from McMurray coming in the first week in February with 8 breeds and I want to be sure I know who's who since I'll be reselling them as started pullets to friends and on Craigslist.
    How do you label their ankles? Those little wire rings that wrap around were EXTREMELY hard to get off some of my shipped chicks and I was told to take them off within a week of hatching.
    I like the idea of the zip ties, but where can you get narrow, multicolored zip ties? I'll need 20 of some and 10 of other. 8-10 colors total.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Electrical supply companies should have them or you can order online.

    Chicks will grow pretty fast and feather out, so this is temporary, but you can use food die on the down to mark them for a while. Just watch and renew as necessary. For some of your purposes that might work. That’s how some hatcheries mark chicks they ship if you ask them to identify certain ones.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I get mine at harbor freight. They have all colors and 2 sizes in a single container.
    I use zip ties for chicks till they're almost grown, then use numbered bandettes.
    Just check them weekly so they don't get too tight. After they're a couple months old you don't have to change them as often.

    I also put the eggs in mesh bags in the hatcher so they don't get mixed up as they hatch.

  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use zipties, the really skinny ones, works for chicks and works for adults too.
    You do have to change them out as the chicks grow tho.

    I have some jewelry sized cutters that work perfect.

    Side cutters for trimming tail ends absolutely flush with lock for no sharp corners exposed.

    End cutter work great for cutting right thru the lock for removing zipties grown too small, much easier than trying to get side cutter between tie and leg.

    The zipties I got are about 1/8" wide and 4" long, great for tiny chicks and fine for adult birds too.


    Henny at 3 days old
    Henny at 3 weeks old
    Henny at 5 months old

    They work good for feathered feeters too fit between the feather shafts
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    I get mine at TSC and Home Depot. After a while some of the colors fade and you can't tell them apart so I only use black, green, tan, and white. If I run out of colors I'll band certain legs, like Group A - black band LEFT leg, Group B - black band RIGHT leg, etc etc

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: