How do you tell which chicks you have held?

Lyn862

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 12, 2008
18
0
32
Oakley, Idaho
I want my chickens to be tame. I've read I need to handle them all every day. My problem is they all look similar. After I have held a few and put them back in the brooder, I can't tell which ones I have handled. Is there a way to keep track? Or am I just getting too uptight about something that doesn't really matter? It is day 4 and they all seem really healthy and good.
 

newchickmom

Songster
12 Years
Nov 8, 2007
720
11
184
Lafayette, Indiana
If they are a lighter color, you can use a watercolor marker and put a spot on the top of their head or back of them. You should only use blue or green though, red will encourage pecking.
 

LynneP

Songster
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
4,746
57
231
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
...or you could bring a small plastic container to the brooder and put the ones you've handled in there for a few moments...at leat that should work until they HOP and FLY...heh


Hubby put a divider in our brooder with a little chick door for this and a few other reasons...
 

DouglasPeeps

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
1,258
4
171
Colorado
This is a great question.

I like the answers that you have rec'd so far, though I didn't try any of those. We would take turns holding them by breed. So for example, we might hold all the Wyandottes first, and then the Buff Orpingtons. This worked well for us, because my kids liked to keep track. But, depending on how many chickens you have, this might not be a good choice.

Hope this helps! Enjoy your chickens!
 

Chirpy

Balderdash
12 Years
May 24, 2007
3,788
24
221
Colorado
Great question and one that we also faced last year.

I would put them into a separate box after holding them so I knew who I'd already gotten to. Then, after holding them all I'd hold them again while putting them back into their regular box. It would take me about 15 to 20 minutes to hold them all and put them back. Obviously that would be different depending on how many chicks you have. I only had 12.

I like the idea of using dark colored markers, I know of people who have also put bands on their chicks legs to tell them apart. One of my chickens got paint on her side (she was 'helping' me paint the hen house:)) and that helped me tell her apart for months until the paint finally wore off.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
237
421
SW Arkansas
Can't help you there. I'm still trying to figure out how to count them! I wait till they're all asleep and count them and that works pretty well...until I get almost to the end and one jumps up and moves; then I start all over again.
(I think this should be included in a book on keeping a simple minded person busy
).
 

ctcasper

Songster
11 Years
Apr 4, 2008
119
0
129
Minnesota
I am having the same problem with trying to figure out the sex of my 13 BO chickens....I never remember which one I thought was what, mentioned the ziptie thing to my husband but he thinks its too mean...
 

flip9109

Songster
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
209
2
131
st paul mn
I use bulekote to mark each chick. most of them on a toe. I have 45 peeps 8 diff breeds and can keep track of them this way.
 

countryentertainment

In the Brooder
12 Years
Feb 24, 2007
93
0
29
Mass.
I found just moving them from the brooder to a box with a paper towel in the bottom and letting each rest in your hand until it jumps off works good and then back into the brooder letting them jump off your hand again. Some do like to linger much longer than others but they all get use to being held. I also put my hand in the brooder every time I walk past. It won't be long before they are jumping into your hand.
 

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