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Do you band your chickens legs? If so why?

At what age did you? Are your chickens free range or in a run? Trying to decide if we are going to or not.
 

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Ours are banded but they got banded when they got NPIP tested. Other then that I would not. Except if say one of my kids liked a special chick and we wanted to be able to tell it apart from the others as it grew.
 

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Oh yes. I think it's very important. I band in order to: know which bird is which for breeding purposes, to know which is which for showing, to know which is which for when I treat for parasites, all sorts of reasons, but the most important is we're NPIP and have to use them for that.

I use numbered bandettes, spirals, as well as permanent metal bands. Bands R Us around here. I band as early as 4 months, when I sort out into male and female pens.
 

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No need for NPIP then. I sell chicks and ship them, and we show, so NPIP is a requirement for us. But beware. I once thought like you do now. Chicken fever is addictive. You go to your first show, and it's all over. Bwaahaahaaa! :D
 

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I used regular colored zip ties on their legs just for my ability to tell them a part, naming them and seeing which ones are laying and what ones are not. Im using my chickens as egg layers but if they dont produce then ill know which one to make a 8 piece out of. The colors work great have pictures of chicken with their bands and their names on computer with dates of purchase, age and breed. It has worked well so far. Got idea from atz lee on alaska last frontier on TV lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What is npip? I read that zipties shouldn't be used as they can fall off or get the birds stuck in shrubs. Now that I have a fair grouping of the same breeds I think I am going to band them. You can get kits with 20 different colored ones for $7 on eBay.

How old should they be when you do it?
 

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NPIP is the National Poultry Improvement Plan: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/

It varies from state to state, but here in KY our State Vet's office comes out once a year, inspects our facility, and blood tests all our adult birds for Pullorum/Typhoid. We then get a certificate of health which allows us to go to poultry shows and ship birds nationally. Some states charge for the testing, but I think it's free in most states. Here's the list of state contacts: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/htba_part.shtml
 

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And IRT zip ties, they actually stay on better than the darned bandettes, which do fall off after a while, but you have to be careful and watch to make sure the birds don't get too big for them, as they can and will cut into a chicken's leg if you're not careful. I start to band my birds at about four months.
 

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I have not in the past but will be this year. I now have 11 new Batted rock pullets and will need to know who is who .
 

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NPIP is the National Poultry Improvement Plan: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/

It varies from state to state, but here in KY our State Vet's office comes out once a year, inspects our facility, and blood tests all our adult birds for Pullorum/Typhoid. We then get a certificate of health which allows us to go to poultry shows and ship birds nationally. Some states charge for the testing, but I think it's free in most states. Here's the list of state contacts: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/htba_part.shtml
I'm in Wisconsin and we are charged 50 cents a bird by the tester, last I heard. This will be my first year having my flock tested since I purchased them NPIP certified last year.
 

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Would you expand your reasoning for why you start at 4 months please?
Sure.

That's when they're at or about at a size where I can put adult sized bands on and not lose them.

That's when they're at an age when I can (mostly) reliably determine gender, and so am splitting them up into gender-specific pens. The males go into "The Bachelor Pad" and the females into "The Nunnery." ;)

It's just an age/size thing is all. :)

If I have specific breeding or notations I need to make prior to that, I either toe punch or use zip ties.
 

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Toe punching is using a funny little tool to literally punch a hole in the web between the toes. I will admit to not being very good at it. I am squeamish, and have messed it up several times (which is why I don't do it often.) But when done properly it can allow you to identify chicks using patterns of holes punched into their webs, and the holes never go away. See this chart:



And this is what the punching tool actually looks like:

 
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