Toe Punching

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by I Love Layers, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can some people give me opinions on toe punching, pros and cons of it.
    I was advised to use it to keep records for my breeding cochins'.
     
  2. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also some combinations etc.

    And if you can still show the bird once its been punched
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I don't see much here on this, not sure many do it on BYC.
    Leg bands are easier to see, can depend on how many birds you are keeping track of.

    Have you tried searching BYC this topic?
    Advanced search>titles only> toe punching

    or Google

    Toe punch patterns
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Toe punching and web splitting is a great way to permanently mark chicks. The equipment is inexpensive, and if you combine toe punching with nose or nostril notching there are many combinations of marks. However you really need to confine your newly marked peeps to such time as the scab falls off the web of it's foot to be sure that the wee hole in the web hasn't grown up.

    I don't know why or to what ends you want to mark your chicks but I also recommend that you wing band your birds in the webbing of their wings once the chicks reach about 4 to 6 weeks old and are ready to run with the rest of your flock.

    Don't forget to record the toe marks and wing band numbers in a good note book. It is possible to become confused and make a year or years mistake in the reading of a toe mark but when backed up with a wing band that problem goes away.
     
  5. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chickengeorgeto - I just started toe punching my new chicks because I'm starting a breeding program in another month or two and need a way to ID the chicks before I wing band them. I hatched a practice batch from my layer flock to get some experience hatching eggs and going through the motions of what I'll need to do when I start the program. Today for the first time I toe punched the layer chicks but found it didn't always punch a clean hole in the webbing. Are there any tricks to making sure you get a clean punch? A lot of mine looked like a circle stamped in the web but the skin appeared to be still intact even though I ran the punch all the way through. Maybe the skin is simply stretching but not being cut - I'm not sure. The chicks are 2 days old today so maybe I should have done it when I took them out of the hatcher on day 1. That's what I'm planning to do in the future anyway because they're likely to get mixed up with chicks from other dams if I don't. Anyway, if you have any tips or tricks to get a clean hole punched I'm all ears.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A postage size piece of crocus cloth may help if you use it to hone the post that pokes through the hole in the toe punch.

    You want to lightly sand the top of the post.

    You may also tack weld the toe punch onto a good pair of needle nose pliers. This makes it much easier to grip and position the toe punch over the toe web.

    Make sure that the hole is completely punched before you turn the chick back in with its brothers & sisters.

    @ about one week inspect the toe web so you can be sure that the deed stuck.

    Sometimes there will be a small scab on the web but pulling the scab off between your thumb and fore finger will almost always result in a nice neat hole in the proper web'

    You may also wish to split the webbing with a sharp jack knife instead of punching a hole in the web.

    You can also use both the toe punch and the jack knife to expand the number of possible marks.

    Finally the wee covers over nostrils can be snipped off to multiply your permanent marks by 4.

    A day old chick is old enough to wing band if you are careful & a 3 week old chick is more than old enough to wing band.

    I like the Jiffy Bands myself

    Good luck:

    There is also a compound toe punch that looks like finger nail clippers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  7. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. I'll lightly sand her down on the top of the post. I got the kind that look just like nail clippers so I think I'm good-to-go in the leverage department. I'll check 'em in a few days and pull the scab off or re-punch as necessary.
     

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