Leg bands or similar for keeping track of chicks for my kids. Ideas please?


In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2015
We have 10 chicks and will be getting more in a month or so. What can we put on them to keep track of them? I want to be sure to be giving them all attention. I think I am doing a bad job of keeping them straight. They are buff orpingtons and 3.5 weeks old.
I started using plastic hair bands, but they stretch and get caught on things and end up on the toes is some frightening ways, so I recommend avoiding elastic bands.

What I find is cheap and most important, safe, is either nail polish or colored marker pens. They come in plenty of colors, but if you want to economize, you can use one color several times by using a number of hash marks on the front of the leg. Some people even paint the toe nails, but it wears off too fast unless the mark is higher on the leg.
Try using colored permanent markers. Mark head and flight feathers. Mark retainment will be a function of feather replacement. Kids will learn feather replacement pattern. Look at birds in full sun to make marks easier to see.
If this is a bad idea please say so, I haven't raised any birds yet, just in final stages of research.

That said, the thing that popped into my mind was zip ties in a variety of colors, carefully trimmed and you of course would have to make sure they weren't loose enough to tangle or tight. If marking them to make sure you pay attention though part of that attention could be changing the band every other week or something while they grow.

My kids would LOVE the nail polish idea but with all the scratching I am sure that is short lived.

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