What do you use to tell your chickens apart?

Sammster

Songster
Jul 31, 2021
458
1,491
196
SE Michigan
Screenshot_20211201-081903_DuckDuckGo.jpg
 
Feb 1, 2021
553
2,518
261
I used to use bands, but as I spent more time with them it got easier. Now I can be 50 feet away and look out my window and I can tell my barred rocks apart easily. Here's what I look for:

Body shape. Its hard to see at first but they are shaped differently. For instance, Sky is quite tall and narrow. She holds her head high. Ginny is short and has darker feathers than the others.

Combs. Probably the easiest way to do it. Combs are like finger prints. The chances of having identical looking combs in your flock are LOW.

Feet. Yes! They have different markings some times. My Minerva had two diamonds in the middle of her legs. Ginny has one on her middle left toe :)

That is how I tell them all apart. I think that Barred Rocks are by far one of the hardest breeds to tell apart. Good Luck!
 
Aug 18, 2019
1,817
4,931
421
Australia
My experience with leg bands- HORRIBLE!!
I purchased my original chickens from a breeder who used leg bands and I noticed the older ones walked funny, on closer inspection the leg bands had grown into their legs! 😱😰 I managed to cut them off, some blood 😰, but they recovered after that thankfully..
..I do not use leg bands. I record their names and who came from which father/ mother so I know which generation they are. They all have some difference even my white ones have slightly larger wattles then another or comb different or slightly fluffier crest. They have different personalities too 😄 white hen 'Queen Chickaletta' is noticeable from a far distance 😂
 

Annalyse

Crowing
Mar 24, 2020
1,234
1,003
251
New Jersey
I have a flock of 7. One is a rooster so obviously, I know which one he is but out of the six hens, I have two Plymotuhs. The one molted so her feathers can back big and I mean BIG she looks like a chubby baby but I call her big girl (she is not overweight her feathers just are puffed lol) my other Plymouth is smaller and she more sensitive. Big girl is sassier. different faces and combs are way different. their beaks are different too. Everyone that sees them calls them by their color because they forget their names.
 

Show Sebright

Crowing
Apr 1, 2020
1,262
2,917
256
Orlando FL
My experience with leg bands- HORRIBLE!!
I purchased my original chickens from a breeder who used leg bands and I noticed the older ones walked funny, on closer inspection the leg bands had grown into their legs! 😱😰 I managed to cut them off, some blood 😰, but they recovered after that thankfully..
..I do not use leg bands. I record their names and who came from which father/ mother so I know which generation they are. They all have some difference even my white ones have slightly larger wattles then another or comb different or slightly fluffier crest. They have different personalities too 😄 white hen 'Queen Chickaletta' is noticeable from a far distance 😂
With that issue, it is important to cut of leg bands and replace them as the bird gets older.
 

micstrachan

Addict
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
13,276
82,421
1,297
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Mine are mostly different breeds, so it’s easy! I can tell them apart by a glance across the yard, even the two barred rocks whose feathers are very different.

Having said that, I think I could differentiate with my eyes closed, as they all have very different voices!

Finally, their personalities and body language also vary.
 

artbykarenehaley

Songster
Feb 20, 2021
189
424
116
Salem, Oregon
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
One had bigger wattles? Maybe?
 

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