Leg bands that last

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by smoothmule, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to be able to identify individuals in a flock as well as have colored numbered bands for some projects so I can run them together when needed yet be able to quickly and accurately be able to sort them when needed.
    I bought some metal leg bands in several colors from here
    http://www.ketchummfg.com/Adjustable-Seal-Leg-Bands-Colored-Aluminum-Numbered-and-Lettered-p468.html
    But, in less than a year the color is about gone and even though the numbers are embossed, I can no longer make out what the numbers are! This is not working at all. Yes, they get dirty and worn but you should be able to make out the raised numbers but these just are not working for my hens that get to free range part of the time.

    I am currently considering this type of bandette http://www.strombergschickens.com/prod_detail_list/numbered-plastic-bands
    They are numbered and come in enough colors I think it would work but I would like to hear with someone with actual experience using them, not opinions on how they "should" work okay. If someone has used them and after a couple of years they are still on and still readable, I'd like to know. I may go ahead and get some and just use them on the main flock and use up the rest of the metal ones on the young birds till I know if these are reliable to keep the color (not fade out), the numbers not wear off and stay on the bird.

    I want bands that are good for long term use, colorful, numbered and permanent.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I've used the same bandettes as the link above, they seem to last for 2-3 or so years then they start to need switched, the numbers etc seem to stay readable but they get dirty or loose. The chickens do get them off occasionally, especially if they are a little loose. And you really can't read them without catching the bird.
    I also use the spiral colored rings, they are harder to get off and they don't seem to fade, they come in like ten colors but some of the colors look alike to me, they do occasionally get bent so a point sticks the bird so you do have to watch them. Some have been on a couple of years and you can still see the color, but again they do get dirty.
    If I have a batch I wanted to be able to id without catching them, I wind up using combinations of the above, like a bandette on one leg and two rings on another etc.
    I have used silver aluminum butt-end bands they held up for years and the numbers were still readable. I didn't like the butt end ones much because they are hard to get off if you need to switch them which is a nuisance on growing birds.
    For permanent id I have pretty much gone to zip wing bands, they seem to stay readable and the birds don't get them off, but again you have to catch the bird.
     
  3. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! The aluminum ones are Awful! crumpled and bent up and no way at all can I make out the numbers and only on 10 months. Another breeder told me he uses the bandettes and puts them on so the numbers are covered when the band is wrapped over them. Since you have to catch them to read them anyway, that's not a lot of trouble. I found some zip ties that are different colors/numbered. I've ordered both. I guess I'll find out which works best here. I looked at the butt end type too but wanted some color to identify the projects from the pures, they already look identical and I want to keep my pures identified.

    I like the idea of the butt ends for permanent ID then colorful bands to quickly see whether they are from the pure flock or project, thanks for the idea. I would only use the butt ends on the adults that are mature and keepers then.
     
  4. goodb

    goodb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Colored, small zip ties work well. I'm using them to mark the birds I definitely want to keep. There is a large enough assortment of colors to meet almost all needs.
     
  5. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I've been using them a long time for chicks but then wanted a more permanent marker for the hens that were numbered so I could document individual traits. I haven't had these aluminum bands on for even a year and they're just shot. It's going to be a pain to remove them all but they are coming off
     
  6. msladyhawke

    msladyhawke Poultry Connoisseur Premium Member

    I have been pretty happy with the stromberger numbered, colored zip ties. Guess it depends on what you need.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I've never used anything but the silver, but the aluminum butt end bands do come in different colors. No idea how the colors would hold up. example: http://www.nationalband.com/nbtbird.htm
    Interesting about putting the bandettes on "backwards" never thought of that, but it does make sense.
     
  8. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My concern is keeping individuals that are my purebred totally identified separate from my projects who you cannot tell by looking that they are not the purebreds. I'm glad for the projects to be looking so good but I need to turn the young ones out in the main grow out together without fear that they will loose bands and I won't know. Any that I have not been sure of with hatching have been banded project to protect my pures but that has been very rare, just a couple.

    The mature birds need to be banded to identify the the pures and each color project because some of those can over lap too and there will be times I want to breed a particular trio and need to keep records so numbering them is critical.

    I think I may go with colored zip ties to identify at hatching, then numbered zip ties on the keepers with numbers then at maturity, the more permanent, numbered butt end type with a colored plastic bandette for quick visual ID for the times (like winter) when I let them all intermingle and free range. The colors will help me sort them quickly back into breeding pens. I can also use a 2 or 3 different colors of the zip ties together on a tiny hatchling to give more identification such as a particular trio etc and that would work until they're big enough to give a numbered zip tie as they're larger.

    Thanks guys. I already have a color id list on my brooder. I need to set up some pages for keeping good records on my computer. I haven't worked with spreadsheets for a while but I think I can set one up with a column for all the things I want to document about each individual.
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Have you considered adding wingbands to the combination? They might be something you could use since you can put them on permanently fairly young, they do day-olds, but I've never liked doing them under about two weeks for standards. At least that way if they lose the legbands or the colors/numbers fade or something you have another method of identifying them.
     
  10. smoothmule

    smoothmule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never considered wingbands. I don't know why but that turns my stomach a little. I don't ear tag my cows either
     

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