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.