proper use of leg bands?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Charlieandlola, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Charlieandlola

    Charlieandlola Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    I have a flock of approximately 1 yr old mixed hens (buff orpington, barred rock, black australorp, etc.) In spring I want to expand. I would like to mark the current hens so I can keep them separate from the new chicks coming in. Once they all get to maturity, I need to be able to tell them apart. Should I use those colored leg bands? What are the drawbacks of using those? Can they stay on for the life of the bird?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    If they are sized right, they can stay on for the life of the bird. If you use them when they are still growing, you’ll need to change bands before they get tight.

    Cutler Supply has a chart that shows the right size for various species and breeds. For chickens, those sizes are good for hens only. Roosters will need a larger size. I use size 10 on my full-sized hens and that works well. Brahmas and Jersey Giants may need larger bands. Other smaller breeds will need smaller sizes.

    You can use the bands a lot of different ways. I only have a few chickens so my system is to use a band in the left leg to tell what year they were hatched. I use the right leg to tell which individual it is. Last year’s chickens all have a blue band on the left leg. I also have yellow and orange I use. On the right leg I might use one of those individual colors or I might use both a blue and yellow or maybe a blue then yellow then blue. With three colors you can come up with a lot of different possible combinations.

    Some things to avoid. Don’t use the same color twice next to itself. Two blues will look a lot like a single blue but if you separate them with a yellow or orange it’s easy to see.

    Watch the leg color. That dark blue is kind of hard to see on a black legged bird. Yellow is a bit tough on a yellow legged bird.

    Some people use colored zip ties and are happy with those. Just don’t get them too tight. That’s what I use on my roosters. Some people use bands with numbers on them. Some people use wing bands. I won’t say you should use one or the other. They all work. It’s whichever one fits your individual purposes.
     
  3. Charlieandlola

    Charlieandlola Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    I got a few birds from a lady last year and one had a leg band, pretty high up on her leg. I didn't know if that was normal or not, but a couple months later, she was limping a little, so I caught her for inspection. The leg band was growing into the leg. So, was it up too high or was it the wrong size? I don't know.
     

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