Identifying sets in a flock born over many settings

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NTBugtraq, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    I am looking for a good solution to identifying my sets. I did 8 incubations over this year and now have a laying flock of my project breed. Next year, I will want to cull those pullets at or under 1 year old, with the oldest birds being culled first. I have not yet tagged these birds in any way, but I will soon cull my original layers leaving me with nothing but project birds, whom I will want to tag to differentiate them from Generation 2 birds. And tagging based on settings would be preferable also.

    I bought some leg rings, but found they weren't the right size (too small), and extremely difficult to put on. I am alone, so trying to hold a bird and tag it is challenging.

    I take birds from my brooder, move them into a juvenile run, and then into my main flock. The settings are at least 24 days apart, so there is a noticeable difference in size when I move them from the juvenile run to the main flock. That is where I expect to tag them. They are typically 12-14 weeks old at that point, and again, won't stay there for much more than a year total.

    What is your preferred tagging method, with a link to a product would be even better.

    FWIW, my project breed is a cross between BCM and (gen 0) Red Sexlink/BCM crosses. They are not small birds, with pullets typically being 6-8lbs at 6 months. Oh, and I only need to tag pullets.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Many serious breeders use a toe punch on chicks to ID individuals or at least siblings. I'm not that serious, so I use numbered leg bands, color coded for each year. It is a pain finding the right sizes, and my big Marans cock from 2014 is wearing the right colored zip tie instead. This year's birds aren't banded yet, but very soon! You can use colored zip ties, replacing them as the birds grow, but I tend to wait longer rather than replacing the ties often. There are also numbered wing bands, which I've never used. Mary
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I use zipties also.
     
  5. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Well, I have to say, I like the idea of bandettes. Not sure why they aren't liked much, but I guess I will find out. Zip ties look easy, but I will have 11 settings together at one time, so that's either a lot of colors, or I need to incorporate numbers. And with potentially 350 birds at one time, easy identification is a definite plus.

    Thanks for everyone's feedback. FWIW, I haven't placed an order yet, but I have sent Strombergs an email with some questions before I order.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    There's 164 combos possible with 4 colors of zipties...someone sent me a spreadsheet if you're interested.
     
  7. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Please do, but I should say, with so many birds I don't want to have to re-apply zip ties. I want to put them on when they leave the brooder at 4-5 weeks, and then re-apply at 12-14 weeks. Cockerels won't need them for more than 18 weeks, but pullets will up to 45 weeks or so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  9. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    I did read your tutorial, thanks for that. My concern is strangling a leg, and having to check so many birds (over 300) to see if the bands are constricting. I thought the bandettes would give more, and therefore be less likely to cause a serious problem.

    I suck at catching my birds, too many roosts in the way I think. I am awaiting the arrival of a relatively cheap snake catcher, which should help me grab the bird I want. I tried the coat hanger shepherds hook, and my coat hangers are too thin to work. So, with this snake catcher, I hope to be able to check any bird I want at any time. That puts my mind to rest about using zip ties, which are clearly the least expensive choice.

    Now I have a slightly different problem. I have 5 different settings of pullets in my main flock that I need to tag. The youngest are 12 weeks, the oldest are 28 weeks. I would like to cull them in order next year. So my plan is to weigh them all and hopefully I'll find that the oldest birds are also the heaviest. Sound like a plan to you?

    BTW, I don't need to know one bird from a set from any other bird in the set...just the setting is enough.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I use wing bands and use one on each wing for redundancy.
     

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