Leg bands, size, how to measure for, types

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by snowydiamonds, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    How do you measure for a leg band on grown Buff Orps? I have had two broody BO hens raise two hatches this past summer, one hatch is two months older than the other and I would like to band the birds to keep track of the hatch and generation, especially to visually note which two were my broodies so I don't lose track of them.

    I saw online some circular plastic bands that were kind of like those rings you slide keys onto, are there better types than others? Please help me keep track of my hens by pointing me in the right direction regarding leg banding, safely. Thanks.
     
  2. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I can't speak for domestic birds, but in the wild bird banding world, we either use calipers or a special leg gauge (sold by a company called Avinet) to measure the birds' legs. I'm not sure the leg gauges have a large enough bracket to accommodate Orp legs... but they might have one specific to larger birds like raptors or waterfowl that would work for chickens as well. The measuring system might be different for domestic birds, though - as I understand it, most domestic bird rings are slide-over-the-foot and let the birds grow into them, whereas with the little wild ones we use split bands that can be secured around the leg with special banding pliers. Avinet might also sell color bands that are split (with a seam that you can seal using super glue or acetone); just not sure if they carry very large color bands.

    Edited to add: Um, bird band website. Wide, wide variety of metal and plastic bands for poultry and other birds. http://www.nationalband.com/leg.htm [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  3. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    i went with wing bands instead of leg bands. it was super easy, even for a complete novice like me, and they are permanent (unless i take them off). with leg bands, you have to change them as the birds grow, which may not be a problem in your case if you are waiting til they are grown to apply them.

    wing bands wouldn't give you that identification at a glance, but they are great for general iding if that's really what you need. i bought the Jiffy bands and applicator from Cutler Supply.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    Those coily wristband keychains are good for keeping track of different groups. Just cut them into overlapping rings and slap them on! They come in different colors, are cheap, and are really stretchy.

    I also use an inexpensive embossing labeler to mark specific birds. The letters are kind of spaced out, so I pull the label back a little after each letter. I can fit four letters on a hen and five on a rooster Serama. Just make a couple blank spaces at the beginning, and only cut off part of the tape in back to overlap the space. Fairly permamant.
     
  5. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Santa Cruz, CA
    In terms of safety, whatever style of band you use, you want to make sure that it can move freely around the bird's leg, but isn't so big that it can slip up over the tibiotarsal (knee) joint, or down over the tarsometatarsal (ankle) joint. You want to check the band periodically, and gently remove any debris that gets stuck in between the band and the leg (this happens with birds that scratch around in the dirt a lot, and if left unattended can aggravate the leg, occasionally causing substantial swelling and cutting). My hesitation with recommending the spiral (keychain) bands is the degree to which stuff might get stuck in the coils - but I've never used these, so I don't know how likely that is.
     
  6. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Morrow, AR
  7. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:most of my birds didn't even seem to notice all that much. i thought of it this way: when i got my ears pierced the first time, they used that gun thingy. it hurt LIKE HELL because there was all this pressure making the wound throb. when i got my ears pierced the second time (and my nose and my eyebrow) they used a needle and there was almost no pain whatsoever. the applicator just pushes the band through a really thin piece of skin and then there is no pressure.

    it was super fast too. i hate holding them upside down, so i made it as snappy as i could without risking injury to them or me. after the first few it was a total snap. they pecked at the band for a few minutes because it was something weird and have never noticed them again. i really like the fact that i can put these on chicks that are a few days old and never have to change them again!

    good luck rarebreedeggs4u! it's so much easier than you think.
     
  8. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

    701
    3
    131
    Sep 27, 2009
    Morrow, AR
    Quote:most of my birds didn't even seem to notice all that much. i thought of it this way: when i got my ears pierced the first time, they used that gun thingy. it hurt LIKE HELL because there was all this pressure making the wound throb. when i got my ears pierced the second time (and my nose and my eyebrow) they used a needle and there was almost no pain whatsoever. the applicator just pushes the band through a really thin piece of skin and then there is no pressure.

    it was super fast too. i hate holding them upside down, so i made it as snappy as i could without risking injury to them or me. after the first few it was a total snap. they pecked at the band for a few minutes because it was something weird and have never noticed them again. i really like the fact that i can put these on chicks that are a few days old and never have to change them again!

    good luck rarebreedeggs4u! it's so much easier than you think.

    Thanks! I think I'll go for it. I love the fact that it's permanent and yet hidden. Metal legs bands were just scary to me. I'm so used to the "fear factor" of my horses and them getting caught up in something. I felt the same way about non-breakable leg bands.
     

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