'How to apply wing bands' and 'Spreadsheet for record keeping'

Dlmillion

Chirping
Aug 1, 2016
36
26
84
Southern Oregon
First of all, I just got a bunch of (200) jiffy style wing bands so that i can permanently identify my chicks and keep individual records on them so that i can more effectively select breeding stock. I had a hard time finding good information about the wing bands in general and couldn't easily find a video showing how to apply them properly and safely so i decided to make a video myself to help save fellow newbies time.
NOTICE: This was my very first time putting wing bands on chicks so i was a touch nervous but it turned out to be extremely easy.

VIDEO:
WING BANDS: http://www.ketchummfg.com/wing-bandear-tags-aluminum-numbered

It's been two days since i applied the bands and the chicks don't seem at all irritated or uncomfortable with the bands and now it's so much easier to keep track of each one! So far, I am definitely happy that i decided to try it out.


Secondly, I made an excel spreadsheet in order to easily keep track of my chicks as they grow and not have to do any weight gain calculations myself. The columns are pretty specific to my needs but if it is useful to just one other person, then it would be worth sharing so here it is. Feel free to use is, change it, or ignore it as you please.
SPREADSHEET:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8In3P9Jq5XKMHpIOXB4M0Y1ajg/view?usp=sharing

Lastly, if you would like to follow my progress and see my spreadheet as i collect data, I am posting everything on this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ware-white-rock-dark-cornish/50#post_17385422
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
Wonderful video, very informative! I'm going to make that my next investment, likely next month as I'm going to apply the THIRD round of zip ties to my 4 week olds today and that's a lot of work... Do you know if the wing bands are reusable? As in, can you take one off an older bird, rebend it and use it again on a chick? It may not be hygienic, and the bands may not be in the best shape I would imagine after 18 weeks or so on a chicken, just curious.

I'm glad I'm not in this project alone, it's so nice to have a few people to bounce ideas and numbers off of and to collect data with!
 

Dlmillion

Chirping
Aug 1, 2016
36
26
84
Southern Oregon
Wonderful video, very informative! I'm going to make that my next investment, likely next month as I'm going to apply the THIRD round of zip ties to my 4 week olds today and that's a lot of work... Do you know if the wing bands are reusable? As in, can you take one off an older bird, rebend it and use it again on a chick? It may not be hygienic, and the bands may not be in the best shape I would imagine after 18 weeks or so on a chicken, just curious.

I'm glad I'm not in this project alone, it's so nice to have a few people to bounce ideas and numbers off of and to collect data with!
From what i understand and from looking at these bands, i do not believe they are meant to be re-usable. I do think that you could potentially re use them if you really needed to but i don't plan on it as they are pretty cheap and I think that it would be best to have a separate ID for every chicken that i go through so i can have a more organized and efficient data base years down the road.

It is so helpful to have other people to work along side! not only does it help to come up with new ideas but, I know it helps me to feel motivated to follow through with this!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,140
138,472
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Wonderful video, very informative! I'm going to make that my next investment, likely next month as I'm going to apply the THIRD round of zip ties to my 4 week olds today and that's a lot of work...
Leave them looser, juuuuust tight enough not to go back over the foot...takes some practice/experience.
I only change out zip ties 3 (maybe 4) times from hatch to adult (6 months).
But am only dealing with a couple dozen birds at most and usually do the banding at night off roost with a head light.

@Dlmillion Good vid.
Would be nice if you could stick a simple graphic showing bone and tendon anatomy in there, could probably find one on web.
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
Leave them looser, juuuuust tight enough not to go back over the foot...takes some practice/experience.
I only change out zip ties 3 (maybe 4) times from hatch to adult (6 months).
But am only dealing with a couple dozen birds at most and usually do the banding at night off roost with a head light.

@Dlmillion Good vid.
Would be nice if you could stick a simple graphic showing bone and tendon anatomy in there, could probably find one on web.
I've tried leaving them loose enough to let them grow into them, but I've had several that have slipped the ties off even after checking/pulling over the extended foot. That was a pain to figure out which was which... I'm sure I'll get better with it by the time my next batch comes. Thank you for the advice.

I'm also not a fan of the colors that I got, it was a 10 pack of different colors, but the green, yellow and neon yellow all start to look alike when they get dirty.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,140
138,472
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Quote: Yep, takes practice.... and yes, color choices can be an issue.
I have 6 colors red, green, blue, yellow, black, and clear...they've stayed pretty obvious.
I find yellow to be the most problematic and have changed out adults when they get too dirty to see well.
Also can go right leg, left leg and add multiple bands. I have a spreadsheet someone gave me that has 164 combos with just 4 colors.
My needs are much more simple tho.
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
From what i understand and from looking at these bands, i do not believe they are meant to be re-usable. I do think that you could potentially re use them if you really needed to but i don't plan on it as they are pretty cheap and I think that it would be best to have a separate ID for every chicken that i go through so i can have a more organized and efficient data base years down the road.

It is so helpful to have other people to work along side! not only does it help to come up with new ideas but, I know it helps me to feel motivated to follow through with this!
Yeah, I didn't think anyone would want to reuse them necessarily, just curious. I thought the zip ties would be reusable, but they get pretty funky really quickly, and aren't as easy to pull apart as I'd hoped. They're much narrower than I'd expected, so the mechanism is very tiny. At $.04 per zip tie (250 for $10 on Amazon), it sounds like a good deal, but going through 3-4 of them during the chicken's life adds up, as well as the time to change them out, etc., so the wing clips' cost starts looking much better.

If I could do it over again, I'd make sure to get the wider zip ties, that might also help to keep them from sliding off when the chickens stretch their legs/toes out behind them. But next time I'll likely do the clips.
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL


What i did with them the first time was leave a bit of a tail on the tie so i could loosen it up as the leg got thicker. It worked for a few of them, but the ones that were less docile didn't let me get the tiny screwdriver in there to release the lock. That,s whem i realized i might as well just cut and put a new one on.

Nice article, thank you for the link.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,218
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I have had some experience using both wing bands and all kinds of leg bands. The best overall course of action is to first toe web punch, or if you have enough breeding lines toe web split and nostril mark your young chicks. Don't be scared to cull any chick or line of

chicks that fails to live up to your ideal of what a chicken should be. Age will not turn any weakling chick into the Charles Atlas of the poultry world. You will end up breeding inferior chickens if you attempt to save every egg that pips.

Then at about 8 weeks old put a wing band in the front webbing on one wing. By choosing either a right wing or a left wing to band you are only creating another way for you to tell your birds from each other.

There are 10 different Spiral Wing Band colors and incidentally there are 10 separate years in a decade so a different color spiral leg band on one or the other foot should tell you the year the chick was hatched and make it easier for you to find those special brood hens.

Wing and leg bands are also available with letters and numbers as well as with just numbers so if you really need to you can keep up with the pedigrees of 1,000s of chickens by only looking in a note book. Keep a separate spiral bound note book for each and every

year. Each chicken hatched each year needs to have its parents and grandparents listed and you can go back a year at a time by going backwards in your stud book.
 
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