telling the chicks apart?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kait27, May 3, 2009.

  1. Kait27

    Kait27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Central Massachusetts
    I have four female Buff Orpingtons on the way (ETA June 11!). Coop building is underway, despite that they won't need it til July at the earliest. I have a question that some might find silly, but hopefully someone knows where I'm coming from. I plan to keep them as pets, and naturally, have already picked out their names. Is there a way I can somehow mark each one so I can tell who is who? would something like a dot of different colored nail polish on their toenail be harmful, or encourage the others to nibble? Or a dot from a sharpie? Any other suggestions? I don't want to have to change their leg bands every week as they grow. Does anyone else have a method for telling them apart?
     
  2. swedishfish

    swedishfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to suggest color-coded leg bands, but that wouldn't work until they're a bit older. I'm not sure what would work best.
     
  3. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lochbuie
    I think you'll find that the more time you spend with them, the easier it will be to tell them apart. Particularly since there will only be four. Their differences will be in personalities, feather growth and coloration. You'll see quickly who is the bravest, who will never challenge the others for position in pecking order and who will be your best "lookout" for trouble.
     
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    My 3 white chicks are all the same to me (well, I never know who is who). I put zip ties on two of them. Put on loosely over 2 weeks ago and I'm about to change them. They're cheap and easy, IMO.
     
  5. Kait27

    Kait27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Central Massachusetts
    Thanks, these all help. I'm sure it'll be like seeing a mother with identical twins- you can't tell them apart, but to the mom, they look nothing alike. I was thinking about the zip ties, just cut them off and replace when they need to be made bigger. do the chicks seem to notice or mind?
     
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    they noticed for all of 30 seconds

    they hated being held down much more than they noticed the bracelets

    just be sure to check on them frequently and change before they get too tight
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I used zip ties in the beginning but you have to watch carefully as they grow so fast. I eventually bought some colored plastic leg bands.
     
  8. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I tried colored cable ties on my husband's 5 La Fleche for awhile. They literally drug each other around by the legs until I cut them off. I finally used a safe paint and painted a dot on their heads. [​IMG] There was a little pecking but not much then they just quit. Now that they are 14 weeks old I can easily tell all 5 "identical" birds apart.
     
  9. Kait27

    Kait27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Central Massachusetts
    What kind of paint did you use? i assume once the baby fluff wears off and the adult feathers grow in, that goes away?
     
  10. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    It was just a non-toxic water based, kids craft paint. It actually had to be re-applied a time or two since it wasn't something permanent, but it lasted reasonably well. And honestly, they looked kinda cute with their little head dots. LOL
     

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