Using bands (or other markers) to distinguish your chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MaLoTu, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. MaLoTu

    MaLoTu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2015
    Our chickens are pets and so they have names and we differentiate them by using different colored zip-ties on their legs. However, I was wondering if there was a benefit to using bands that are made for chickens? We had to replace one of the zip-ties on one of the chicks and it was not super easy. The chick was shaking by the time we were done. With the poultry bands, do you have to cut them off in order to remove them? I looked online for some and it looks like they come in specific sizes, is it best to wait unitl they are full grown to place a legitimate poultry band?


  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use the small 4" zipties and I think the key is to use the right tools.

    I use an end cutter to get the tie off, cutting right thru the lock portion of the tie instead of trying to get between the tie and the leg. Use the side cutter to trim off the end after putting a new one on.

    You also learn to leave it as loose as possible without it coming off so you don't have to change them out as often when they are growing. I think I did 3 changes between day old and adult.

    I put them on their backs between my closed thighs holding them down and holding the leg and tie lock with one hand leaving the other hand free to put the pre looped tie on and pulling the end.

    Keeping my own anxiety level in control helps keep them calmer too, as I got better at it it got easier to do....tho most chickens never want to be caught and held down.


    Henny at 3 days old

    Henny at 3 weeks old

    Henny at 5 months old and she's still wearing this one at a year old.

    The little skinny ones work good for feathered feeters too fit between the feather shafts
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  3. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    When mine were little, I used the colored hair bands that are used for dog grooming. They're super stretchy, easy to get on and off, and come in a variety of sizes. Then I moved to spiral bands when they were two or three months old.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  4. MaLoTu

    MaLoTu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2015
    Thank you both for the reply.

    I definitely need to get better tools if I continue with the zip-ties. I bought a jar of 500 from home depot, so I will likely keep using them.

    If I remember while I am at the store, I will look to see if there are any small rubber bands. Those would be easier and less stressful.
  5. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    Also, I use food color dots on chicks with at least white chest feathers/ bellies or shanks feathering. Neon colors work especially well. Lasts until real feathers come in.
  6. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Zip ties will work fine as long as you don't put them too tight and change them out on growing birds before they get too tight to cut easily.

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