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Tagging Chickens

I waited until it was dark and all the unsuspecting chickens were asleep.  Then I creeped into the coop with a flashlight and one by one grabbed each chicken by its legs and swung it upside down.  Sometimes they squawked and flapped for a few seconds before relaxing.  Sometimes the other chickens stuck up their heads and squawked back in concern, but they always fluffed their feathers and settled back down to sleep.

And so it went, grabbing, swinging upside down and tagging.  It’s important that chickens have identification tags when you have a bunch.  You can watch for patterns, pay attention to age and health and so on.  I don’t put the tags on until the dorking chickens are bigger as I’m always afraid of forgetting to change them in time (I am very forgetful) and then I’ll have things like this *shudder*:

[ezcol_1half]Chicken leg band grown into leg[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]leg band grown into chicken leg[/ezcol_1half_end]

If you’re a cheap and don’t want to buy bands, here’s some homemade options such as:

  • Different color zip ties.  Those will only last for about a year and then start falling off.
  • Toe punching.  This is permanent and probably the best option except that you’re physically doing something to the chicken if you’re a softy. There’s also a limited number of combinations so if you have a lot this won’t work.  http://www.dominiquechicken.com/Toe_Punch_Chart.html
  • Plastic spirals from spiral notebooks with wire clipping the ends together.
  • Some people even paint their toe nails, but if you have few enough that this is feasible, you probably have few enough to tell the difference by sight!
  • Leg bands

chicken leg bandI used leg bands.  I bought the metal ones, but I really think I’m going to try the rubber spiral bands next time.  The metal ones are supposed to last longer and their size is adjustable, but what I’ve found is for a sissy girl like me, they’re difficult to put on, especially when you’re making it tighter to make the bands smaller.  The metal bands are difficult to curve into circles (they come flat) and then you have to use a plier like tool to put them on.  The rubber spiral leg bands just snap around the chickens leg.  Much easier.  HOWEVER, having said that, I got the metal ones because they come with numbers printed on them.  The spiral bands come in different colors, but don’t have numbers.  Because I have so many Dorking chickens, I wanted each to have individual numbers.  So now that I think about it, I may not get the spiral ones lol.

Anyhoo, that was my adventure for the evening.  How did you spend your sunday evening haha!

Hey! This post might have some affiliate links. That means if you click a link and buy something, we make money-and it doesn’t even cost you anything! Pretty cool right?

Comments

  1. Karen Kelly says

    Back in the 1950’s through the late 1960’s my father John Kelly was instrumental in keeping the Red Dorking breed alive. We lived outside of Syracuse, New York and always showed many different breeds at the New York State fair. When we moved south in 1967 he sold out his Red Dorking flock. I never heard whether the breed survived. I was on a blog about chickens and saw that other colored Dorkings were still viable. I wrote in and got a reply that your farm might have some of the Red Dorking and that you might sell some for breeding. I would be interested in finding out more about what you have. If possible please contact me at either my e-mail kelly_karen@bellsouth.net or my cell number (864) 230-3104.

    P. S. I saw on your web site that you now have a baby lamb. I raise St Croix /Dorper sheep, and have 7 lambs so far this year. I also have two Duroc pigs, Sliver laced Wyndotts, Road Island Reds and Americana chickens. And the usual band of drop off cats (15 fixed cats) and two Great Pyrneese dogs. I was raising Irish Dexter cattle before I started raising sheep. So I am following in my Dads footsteps. Hope to hear from you when you have some time.

    Karen Kelly

    • Flip Flop Ranch says

      Argh! I’m so sorry I didn’t respond. I read this and was super excited to hear from you, but then got busy and forgot to reply. We actually just had our gorgeous red rooster eaten and I’m heartbroken, but we have a lot of his red dork descendants so I’m hoping for a nice rooster to come out of that. His genetics were very strong and turned half our flock red lol. I got my reds from a man named Troxel. Gorgeous birds. I’d be happy to help you out with some chicks when we’re ready, but in the meantime you can order eggs from him.

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Regina

We had so much fun hanging out at this farm. I highly recommend a visit here!!
Flip Flop Ranch
5
2020-01-28T19:36:01-08:00
We had so much fun hanging out at this farm. I highly recommend a visit here!!

Aaron

Come here if you're okay with getting up close with animals! That's what makes the experience great.

Aaron

Flip Flop Ranch
5
2020-01-28T19:37:56-08:00

Aaron

Come here if you're okay with getting up close with animals! That's what makes the experience great.

Suzie

This was an awesome experience to have! Would highly recommend!

Suzie

Flip Flop Ranch
5
2020-01-28T19:39:27-08:00

Suzie

This was an awesome experience to have! Would highly recommend!

Cecelia

We had such a great time! It was a beautiful drive out to the farm and was so fun.

Cecelia

Flip Flop Ranch
5
2019-10-27T04:12:15-08:00

Cecelia

We had such a great time! It was a beautiful drive out to the farm and was so fun.
5
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