Marking baby chicks

MoodyChicken

Songster
10 Years
Feb 15, 2009
1,869
28
181
Northern California
So I'm getting ready to hatch eggs, and I need to know the exact cross of the chicks. Obviously I have to mark them some how, and I'd like something permanent. Has anyone here ever toe-punched their chicks? If so... Does it hurt them? I'm a real softie for baby chicks, and I don't want to cause them too much pain. Do they bleed? And, what do you use to punch the holes? I know there are fancy tools, but if a household item works just as well, I'd rather use that than buy something. Thanks!
 

Momma_Cluck

Songster
11 Years
Jun 11, 2008
592
2
141
N. West Michigan
Toe punching hurts and I would assume would make it difficult to walk and leaves permanent damage.

Use blue, green, black or yellow sharpie Markers! mark a 1 a + or an O on their heads to keep them sorted... re-mark 1x a week. If the chicks are black, use dots of white Craft paint.

You can also use elastic leg bands and replace them as the babies grow.
 

katrinag

Songster
11 Years
Jul 13, 2008
2,001
7
181
Kendall/DeKalb County IL
I am also not a fan of the toe punch. The the other poster said use marker. They also have little rubber bands(like the kind used for braces) that you can put on there legs. Some people even use colored zip ties.
 

pips&peeps

There is no "I" in Ameraucana
Jan 18, 2008
8,431
177
381
Newman Lake, WA
Toe punching does hurt, and it can bleed. But it doesn't leave permanent damage unless you punch off their toe or something.....

There is a special tool to buy to do it and you would want to buy some blood stop powder also. It's like piercing an ear.
 

ScoobyRoo

Songster
11 Years
Aug 21, 2008
1,996
9
174
Land of OZ
Quote:
I thought about marking the head but was afraid that the other chicks may peck at the mark. We tried the sharpie on the back toe but it did not work long.
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MoodyChicken

Songster
10 Years
Feb 15, 2009
1,869
28
181
Northern California
Thanks everyone! I don't want to hurt them, so that's not going to work for me. That paint idea is great though! How long does the paint stay on? I used to paint their legs with toe nail polish, but that doesn't last very long. And I used to band them too, but they outgrow them so fast.
 

Momma_Cluck

Songster
11 Years
Jun 11, 2008
592
2
141
N. West Michigan
We used Sharpie markers, they don't peck as long as it isn't bright green or red!
We had to remark weekly as it wore off, but it doesn't hurt em, and I had no access to leg bands...
Paint lasts longer, but clumps their fuzz /feathers...
 

KatyTheChickenLady

Bird of A Different Feather
11 Years
Dec 20, 2008
5,146
25
251
Boise, Idaho
I for one think the litle platic leg bands are cute . . . all the rage in the chicken fashion world . . . whats a young pullet beauty queen without one????
 

SweetMissDaisy

Songster
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
283
7
141
On the Farm, Central TX
I have three buff orp bantams I couldn't tell apart, and needed to, so I used those livestock marking crayons (they're like an inch around) sold in several different colors -- i marked the backside of their legs -- worked like a charm. In fact, several months later and I can still tell them apart by the markings on their legs. One I call Green Jeans, because both of his legs were marked with green, and it is still there.
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