Identification Bands ???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Barry Natchitoches, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2008
    I have only a small flock -- never more than 4 of identical looking birds.

    But I want to be able to tell one bird from another -- even when the birds look identical.

    I really don't feel comfortable putting metal wing bands on, or any leg bands that require pliers. I am more leaning towards plastic bands that are easy to put on, but won't come off.

    And because I have two sets of for identical looking birds, I need more than just one color bands.

    What is the best kind of bands to get for this job?

    And where is the best place to get them?

    Have YOU ever used them? If you have, please share your experiences with them with me.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've used the plastic bands from Cutler Supply. They even have a chart to tell you which size to get, but remember that those are for the hens. The roosters need a larger size.

    What I'd suggest for you is to consider colored zip ties. I've used them for the roosters the plastic bands did not fit and they worked great. Do not get the clear or translucent ones. You can't really see them very well. A color that contrasts with the leg color is important.

    For four chickens, you need a total of one color to be able to tell them apart.

    Chicken #1 - No bands
    Chicken #2 - one band on the left leg
    Chicken #3 - one band on the right leg
    Chicken #4 - two bands on the left leg.

    I bet you thought I was going to say one band on each leg, didn't you. [​IMG] As you can see though, you can mark several chickens with just one color. But I'd suggest getting one of those multi-colored packs of zip ties. Different colors do make it easier to tell them apart at a glance.
  3. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    I have used the numbered plastic bands, and really are not impressed with them. It seems with our free ranging birds, the bands get tangled up in stuff, and get popped off.. I'm finding them all over it seems, all the time...

    After years, the plastic gets brittle and breaks-- or weeks...

    I'm a believer in colored zip ties from now on... just don't get them tight, and snip the ends off.
  4. ThomsonCentennialFarm

    ThomsonCentennialFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    Holliday, Missouri
    I too was researching bands today for our new flock, because I want to be able to keep track of ages from year to year. Zip ties seem to be the best way to go, glad to hear others feel the same way. (Plus I believe they generally are cheaper than leg bands.)
  5. KarenP

    KarenP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    I bought leg bands from my local grain store. I bought 8 different colors and two different sizes. Of course i put the smaller ones on the hens and bigger ones on the roosters. I also used the light girly colors for the hens and the darker colors for the roosters. I made a chart and i put the breed, name i gave them, birthdate, and color of the band. I laminated it and used tacks to hang it. I now have all their names memorized and friends get a kick out of it.

  6. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Georgetown, KY
    I had rubber band type ones and didnt like them. Ive since gone to metal numbered bands and love them. They are adjustable with three different sizes. This is probally over kill for your setup. Zip ties are your best bet. I would be sure you get UV resistant ones.

  7. abejita

    abejita Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    I just use colored zip ties...
  8. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    A Toe-bunch is the easiest and cheapest method you can use for identification.
  9. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    Quote:expand on this.. I hear people talking about it, but wouldn't you run out of toes and webbing to notch after a while? Or is there a system like ear notching in swine?
  10. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    You actually punch the hole in the web between the toes. There are 16 possible combinations. If you have just a few chickens then there is no problem. For those of us with hundreds, we use it to identify a particular strain/family not an indivdual.

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