Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
667
680
191
We have 5 barred rock girls who are now 8 weeks old. We can tell only one apart from the others as she is much darker. We would love to tell the other four apart, but they would need leg bands. We put leg bands on them when they were just a few weeks old and they went crazy, pecking at them and seeming very agitated....so we took them off. Has anyone ever used leg bands? How long until they get used to them? Our other chickens are silkies, and then we have Ameraucana's coming and two Icelandics....so they are all very easy to tell apart.
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,293
406
Conway SC
We have 5 barred rock girls who are now 8 weeks old. We can tell only one apart from the others as she is much darker. We would love to tell the other four apart, but they would need leg bands. We put leg bands on them when they were just a few weeks old and they went crazy, pecking at them and seeming very agitated....so we took them off. Has anyone ever used leg bands? How long until they get used to them? Our other chickens are silkies, and then we have Ameraucana's coming and two Icelandics....so they are all very easy to tell apart.
They will get use to the leg bands---I have used different color tie straps.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,473
15,159
777
Southeast Louisiana
Only 8 weeks old, they are still going to do a lot of growing. Be careful putting things around their legs, you don't want them to get too tight and injure them. Make it a weekly ritual to check them so they don't get too tight and replace them as necessary. They grow really fast.

I use colored zip ties on mine but not until they are ready to lay. It doesn't take long for them to get used to them, just be patient.

Another option at that age is to use food coloring to color certain feathers. Use different colors or mark different areas. They will go through juvenile molts and shed feathers so you have to keep up with coloring them too but there is no danger of injuring a leg this way.
 

lpatelski

Songster
Apr 12, 2015
689
532
216
South Georgia
We have 5 barred rock girls who are now 8 weeks old. We can tell only one apart from the others as she is much darker. We would love to tell the other four apart, but they would need leg bands. We put leg bands on them when they were just a few weeks old and they went crazy, pecking at them and seeming very agitated....so we took them off. Has anyone ever used leg bands? How long until they get used to them? Our other chickens are silkies, and then we have Ameraucana's coming and two Icelandics....so they are all very easy to tell apart.
I sell my own brand of Leg Band ID. PM me.
zipchick 18.00.png
 

Frazzemrat1

Free Ranging
May 8, 2017
7,996
14,096
637
Eastern Connecticut
[QUOTE="Another option at that age is to use food coloring to color certain feathers. Use different colors or mark different areas. They will go through juvenile molts and shed feathers so you have to keep up with coloring them too but there is no danger of injuring a leg this way.[/QUOTE]

I had been thinking about this, as I have two light brahma's. I also have two buffs, but they are easily distinguishable at this point. And I think one of those is a roo. But the food coloring, I'd been considering that but didn't know if I should; as in if it was safe. But I guess if its safe for human consumption and not a chemical dye then it should be alright....?
What feathers do you normally color?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,473
15,159
777
Southeast Louisiana
When you get chicks from a hatchery and you need a way to tell them apart when you get them, some hatcheries will use food coloring on the forehead to tell them apart if you ask. You may be splitting an order, some are sexed and some are not, or you have different breeds where the chicks look a lot alike. Different reasons to do this. I consider food coloring perfectly safe.

I've only used it once, that was on the wings and rear. It worked until they had a juvenile molt. Different colors on different body parts or different sides, you have a lot of options for marking.

I usually don't mark them until they hit laying age, then I use zip ties. The legs do continue to grow after that so you do have to check them. I use the left leg to show what year they hatched in, a yellow means 2015, both red and purple means 2016. I haven't decided what color I'll use for this year but it will only be one and quite different from red or purple. I use the right leg to distinguish between hens hatched the same year if they look much alike. But if you can tell them apart just by looking you obviously don't need to do that.
 

Frazzemrat1

Free Ranging
May 8, 2017
7,996
14,096
637
Eastern Connecticut
[QUOTE="
But if you can tell them apart just by looking you obviously don't need to do that.[/QUOTE]

At this point, I can tell everybody apart... I'm worried about later down the road if I can't. I was thinking as well, about bands when they hit their full growth. Thanks for the info on the coloring!
 

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
667
680
191
Thanks for all of the info!! They are black with minimal white since they are females, so I feel like leg bands would work better for us...I am in with them a few times every day, as are my daughters, so we would check them daily for sure.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,874
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I would not use the elastics. Much more risk of injury/swallowing. I zip tied my chicks soon after hatching so I could track the shipped chicks. Simply place the zip loose enough that it won't slip back off over the foot. Monitor, and change out before it gets tight. I use a pair of pointed end nippers to clip the ends and remove the zips when changing them. Walmart has neon colored 4" zips for around 1.50/pk. They get used to them very quickly.
 

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