Marking my Wood Ducks-Help?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wadek2008, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. wadek2008

    wadek2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2008
    Chapel Hill, NC
    These will be my f1 and I've never had to do this before.
    Do I need to mark migratory game birds that I propagate?
    All live migratory game birds (including offspring) possessed in captivity under authority of a valid Special
    Purpose Game Bird permit must, prior to 6 weeks of age, be physically marked using one of the following methods:
    (a) Removing the hind toe from the right foot.-this sounds bloody to me and I really just don't see me self cutting off an entire toes; I like MY toes, each and every one.
    (b) Pinioning of a wing by removing the metacarpal bones of one wing or a portion of the metacarpal bones-I'd rather them be able to get off the ground quickly if a predator ever got in and I want them to be able to fly into their nest boxes
    thereby rendering the bird permanently incapable of flight.
    (c) Banding one metatarsus with a seamless metal band-I don't think I've ever seen a seamless one, are they tight? how does that work?
    (d) Tattooing a readily discernible number or letter or combination thereof on the web of one foot-tattooing? Is there a special tool for that? Can I use a toe punch instead?
    What are your recommendations? I'm not crazy about any of them, but they're already so big at 3 weeks!
  2. giffy

    giffy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2008
    The easiest and most used method is toe clipping. When you pick up one of your ducks, you will see a small toe coming off the back of the leg. When they are little, you can clip this off using a sharp pair of scissors. If you do it the first few days you will see no blood, just clip and let them go. As you get closer to 6 weeks you may see a drop of blood or two.


    Pinioning is permanent and of course will leave the bird flightless.

    The seamless bands are slipped (careful working) over the foot.

    Tattooing is done of the webbing, can't say I have ever seen this method.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  3. cawooduck

    cawooduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Livermore, CA
    I just toe clip, like Giffy said, i do it on day two and it has never been a problem. I dont want to do seamless bands and i dont want to pinion any birds. As for tattooing, i dont see many people doing that either.

    If you toe clip make sure its on the right foot. And its not a toe connected to the webbing, its the useless hind toe on the back of the foot..................Jason
  4. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Truly, snipping the right hind toe is quick, easy, and painless as far as I can tell. The ducklings didn't even flinch!

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