Leg Bands

Weetamoo93

Songster
May 11, 2020
117
191
126
South Mississippi
I'm planning to use atlas seal aluminum leg bands on my poultry (currently only chickens) to keep track of them. What age can I or should I apply them? And does anyone know a good video or photo tutorial on application? I've hunted around a little and can only find "when the bird is full grown" as far as a "when", but I'm not certain what age that is. And I haven't found a video or photo tutorial on application, though I imagine it's pretty straight forward.

I already have zip wing bands on my current starter flock, but want an easier identification. Plus I figure it's good to have more than one form of ID. It was hard enough finding a good video for the zip bands! I'm planning on making my own on the next go round along with some nice clear photos.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,011
11,446
596
USA
If you're trying to decide when a bird is full grown: egg-laying is usually a good sign for females :)
 

mechanic57

Songster
Aug 23, 2014
254
110
151
Different breeds do mature at different rates, so that might be why the different numbers.

What he said.

I have some meat birds that are 7 weeks old and are nearly as big or bigger than my 2 year old laying hens. Problem is, they are all the same color and one of my free ranging layers got in the pen with the meat birds while I was going in to top off the water and now I can't tell which one doesn't belong. Since the meat birds are still growing, I plan to put bands on the layers legs since they are done growing.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,011
11,446
596
USA
I have some meat birds that are 7 weeks old and are nearly as big or bigger than my 2 year old laying hens. Problem is, they are all the same color and one of my free ranging layers got in the pen with the meat birds while I was going in to top off the water and now I can't tell which one doesn't belong.

If you're willing to handle each bird, you can probably find her by checking their vents. A laying hen has a vent that's large and stretched out and somewhat soft looking (because an egg goes through each day). A non-laying bird (young, or male, or broody hen, or molting hen) has a vent that's smaller and puckered up.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,922
1,161
291
Georgia
From what I have seen their legs can continue to get thicker and outgrow bands even when they are 4-5 years old so "full grown" doesn't mean the bands will last forever.

I say that because a while back I picked up a couple of four year old bantam hens. They had been show birds and had both spiral and numbered leg bands which were comfortable/loose. A couple of years later the bands were tight and needed to be cut off.
 

mechanic57

Songster
Aug 23, 2014
254
110
151
From what I have seen their legs can continue to get thicker and outgrow bands even when they are 4-5 years old so "full grown" doesn't mean the bands will last forever.

I say that because a while back I picked up a couple of four year old bantam hens. They had been show birds and had both spiral and numbered leg bands which were comfortable/loose. A couple of years later the bands were tight and needed to be cut off.

Good to know. I see there are metallic bands and plastic bands. Is there a significant advantage of one over the other?
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,922
1,161
291
Georgia
Good to know. I see there are metallic bands and plastic bands. Is there a significant advantage of one over the other?

I honestly don't know as I have never used them (all of my birds look different and are easy to identify). Most I have done is used a magic marker to color code chicks.
 

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