Is it safe to put a zip-tie on a chickens leg? (not my idea)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hennypenny95, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. hennypenny95

    hennypenny95 Hatching

    Aug 7, 2014
    We have new chicks and they came with their mom. For some reason, my grandpa wants to mark her by putting a zip-tie on her leg so we know which one she is, just like they put those rings on parrots. But I'm scared that it will hurt her. Is it a good idea?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  2. Yes it is very safe.....That is how I sex Chicks every spring.....Just cut it off once not needed and do not put on too tight...

  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Agree - if you don't put it on too tight, and cut off the excess plastic, it should be fine. I would suggest not putting it on a young bird that's still growing. You could run into trouble with that.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I use zip ties to mark my birds all the time.

    I hatch a lot, so I have to do something to know who is from what batch.

    A grown bird should be easy peasy. Just give it a little wiggle room. If she's brooded chicks, she's pretty much as big as she's gonna get. Her legs may thicken a bit as she ages, so like anything you'll just want to keep an eye on it.

    Chicks are trickier. The're growing and you have to keep a much closer eye on them. But it's still okay, just use some common sense.

    My little chicks are sometimes bothered by the bands. the adult birds really don't seem to notice.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    I use them all the time.....but they do need to be watched closely and changed out as the bird grows.
    It took some practice, but I've gotten to where I can only change them 3 times between hatch and full grown.
    Tightening the tie just large enough not to fall off gives more time between having to change them out.
    There are always exceptions tho, so monitoring the fit regularly is important.

    Having the right tools can make things much easier.
    I found using a pair of end cutters is the best way to remove a tie that's gotten too tight.
    Instead of having to get between the leg and tie, you just cut thru the tie lock.

    I find it easiest to change out ties at night wearing a head lamp to see and grabbing birds off roost.

    Here's some info and pics on how I use zipties:

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