How to tell your chickens apart?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Australton, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Australton

    Australton Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 13, 2014
    Hunter Valley, NSW
    I have a problem that 2 of my hens look identical. I'm sure that i am not the only one with this problem as solid colour breeds much have this a lot?

    I have studied these hens and looked for little differences but can't find any. Beaks feathers feet toe nails eyes all the same, combs might be slightly different but can't tell unless i catch each one.

    How do you tell them apart without the use of bands on the legs?
  2. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN
    Chickens identify each other by their combs. This is probably the only fool proof way to do it when you have hens that are all the same color. This is the only way I have found to tell mine apart. Some have larger or smaller combs, some have different shapes. I found that once you get to know each of their "personalities" and always look at their comb and pick out the tell-tale characteristics, you will get to know them pretty easily.
  3. Pinkaboo

    Pinkaboo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2014
    Cornwall in the UK
    My cuckoo Marans are about 12 weeks now and I have 3 of each
    The hens I wouldn't know one from the other
    But my lovely cockerels are easy to tell
    I have big cockerel, little cockerel and cuddles
    I sat in the run tonight with the three roos on my knee sleeping and two of the hens asleep at my side

    The neighbours dispair of me
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Catch them up, identify each one and put on a leg band so you can tell them apart more easily moving forward.
  5. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Not sure with you not mentioning what breed yours are...might try taking a VERY close look at feather patterns and combs. Our barred rocks have different white/black patterns (especially noticeable on the wings)...and one has a V tail where the others is flatter. For our Orpingtons, one has a large floppy comb, the other has a large "normal" comb, and the third one has a smaller body than the other two.

    They all have different vocalizations as BR is the "whiner", while the other one is "chatty"...The floppy comb BO makes a cooing noise...When I'm out on a biz trip and I call home, I can actually tell them apart when my S.O. holds the phone near them and they "talk" :)
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  6. Australton

    Australton Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 13, 2014
    Hunter Valley, NSW
    That's so sweet. I know one is more friendly than the other. They are australorps. Once they are fully grown I hope something stands out so I can tell them apart. It is to hard to name them if they don't
  7. 6of6chicks

    6of6chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2014
    I agree. Leg bands let you track medical problems, accidents, or injuries. Without them you're just guessing as to what's going on in your flock.

    I used colored zip ties. Easy to put on, durable, and no worrying about sizing. Just make sure you clip the tail short & round the edges, and if they're young that you replace before it gets too tight.

    It's funny, but it wasn't until AFTER I put the bands on that I started being able to notice differences between the birds. I think the leg bands helped "train" my brain to recognize each bird, and then I started seeing the subtle differences that I had been missing.
  8. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    I can tell the difference between my "muddy" Faverolles, but pointing them out to neighbors, family and friends was difficult. Now I can just say "The Blue One" or "The Pink One"

    $0.25 worth of colored cable ties.

  9. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 6, 2012
    It will be easier as they get older. Have three identical Barnevelders. But their combs are different and so are their personalities. Some times I have to look twice but can always tell them apart. Leg bands would help.
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    The comb is the usual way to ID different birds. Might be insignificant differences but they are there.

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