What do you use to tell your chickens apart?

Sep 13, 2021
492
1,131
186
Central Arkansas
I have black Cochin Bantams. I can always tell them apart as pullets. This one has a tiny comb and this one has littke black specks. Then they start laying. I use Happy Hens spiral leg bands. I have to use size 11 for Cochin Bantams even though the package says I need size 9. I have never had a problem and I named 3 of my hens by the color of their leg bands. The purple leg band is Plum, the pink legband is Bubblegum, and the blue leg band is Sky. Their combs are constantly changing and it is hard to tell them apart. I have never had to band a rooster. They usually have different personality or such. There is one hen I have now, Plum, she has a special personality and I have been through a lot with her. She was broody, then the other chickens went to the fair. While they were at the fair, she broke herself of broodiness. The other chickens pecked her when they came back. I had to seperate her and give her special attention. Now when I go out to the coop I talk to her. Like "Hey Plummy! How are you doin today?" But some of them are impossible to figure out who is who. I mean, how are you supposed to tell these two apart?
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BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
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SE Missouri, USA
I have black Cochin Bantams. I can always tell them apart as pullets. This one has a tiny comb and this one has littke black specks. Then they start laying. I use Happy Hens spiral leg bands. I have to use size 11 for Cochin Bantams even though the package says I need size 9. I have never had a problem and I named 3 of my hens by the color of their leg bands. The purple leg band is Plum, the pink legband is Bubblegum, and the blue leg band is Sky. Their combs are constantly changing and it is hard to tell them apart. I have never had to band a rooster. They usually have different personality or such. There is one hen I have now, Plum, she has a special personality and I have been through a lot with her. She was broody, then the other chickens went to the fair. While they were at the fair, she broke herself of broodiness. The other chickens pecked her when they came back. I had to seperate her and give her special attention. Now when I go out to the coop I talk to her. Like "Hey Plummy! How are you doin today?" But some of them are impossible to figure out who is who. I mean, how are you supposed to tell these two apart?
View attachment 2908639
Thing 1 and Thing 2. 🤣
 

The Moonshiner

Legendary Leghorns
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Nov 17, 2016
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Hm. Interesting. Doesn't seem there are many options for punching, though? 🤔 How many chickens can you identify this way? Oh wait, i get it. Multiple combinations! Have you ever had a chicken or chickens get infections where they've been punched?
No I've never had one get an infection or any health concerns from it.
Ya there's different combinations so including no punches there's 16 different combinations.
I also use the same combinations on birds that appear total different to increase what I can use. So like i can use the same marking on some buff birds as I do on some duckwing ones.
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
My Coop
My neighbors put a piece of colored thread through their chickens head as a baby. They grow up and always have a colored thread on top of their head. It's kind of cute, i will try to get a picture tomorrow so you can see it.
Definitely need to see pics of this @Banana01
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,776
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SW Michigan
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I use 4" zip ties, from hatch to harvest.
Combos of colors and right or left leg, with a spreadsheet for notes on each bird.
Yes, they will peck at them at first, but not for long, maybe a day or two, if that.
Had one chick pull so hard on their own band they tipped themselves right over. :gig
Yes, you have to change them out as they grow.
Once I got good at it, I only needed to change them 3 times between hatch and 'full size'.
And it's good to put fresh ones on older birds once a year, because they can break off.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/leg-banding-with-zipties.68075/
 

mgharris30

Songster
Apr 27, 2021
109
158
106
East Texas
I use these, they are easy to snap on and they STAY on. I tried the spiral ones and the girls pulled them right off.

View attachment 2908334
View attachment 2908333
I was using the little spiral ones, but as they grow, I’ve had to remove two.
Most of my flock is completely different. BUT, I have two lavender orps that look exactly alike. I think one is more social to people, but I can’t be sure. They might be taking turns.
Also, I have two EEs that are starting to look very similar.
So, are these big enough or will they eventually outgrow these as well? I thought the spirals would stretch with them, but that has t been the case.
 

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