I.D. Bracelets for Your Flock

On my farm there have been many chickens over the years. Every chick originally belonged to a specific flock with a clever name that would reminded me of the year they hatched. For instance, the last presidential election my newly acquired hatchlings  became the flock named after after the wives of the presidential candidates, First Ladies.

As time went by new chicks were added and before I knew it there were birds from years ago mixed in with previous flocks.  It can be hard to remember which hen belonged to what flock, and what year is even tougher.

I decided to keep track of my birds by using an ankle bracelet of the same color for each flock. Now with just a glance I know how old a hen is by which flock she was a member of. This is nothing new to chicken keepers, but the ankle bracelets made for this purpose are pretty spendy. They come in a million sizes, none of which seem right, and they are all offered in bags of a gazillion. So, I came up with an inexpensive alternative.

Bright colored, weather resistant, easy to adjust for size, lightweight, and CHEAP. Neon Zip Ties! They are available at most any hardware, or electronic store, or you can get a whole bag for about $7  online at amazon.

Neon Zip Tie I.D. Bracelets

If you have any ideas to share about chicken-keeping, please share in the comment box below. Thanks!

amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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7 Responses to I.D. Bracelets for Your Flock

  1. LOL! I can relate to the thrifty part. Thriftiness is the mother of invention!

  2. Pingback: I.D. Bracelets for Your Flock | TBN Ranch « recemynivok

  3. Great idea!!! I used aluminum avian bands on mine and trust me, they are harder to put on and you need a tool to crimp them in place. I gave up after a few flocks. I wish I would have thought of your idea!

    Just a note of caution to anyone wanting to use cable ties in place of metal ones. Make sure you don’t snug up the tie too tightly and remember to leave plenty of room for the leg to grow into it. If it snugs up too tightly, it will act as a tourniquet and stop the blood flow to the foot so keeping it loose is important. I figure you’d want to use the real small ties (4″ miniature) as they are lighter and more flexible than the larger ones and still have an 18 pound test. Ties come in a bundle pack costing only a few cents each so it might be best to every few weeks as they are maturing to replace them. (Most of your big box stores only sell white or black, online you can get neon ones like in your photo. Electrical supply houses will also carry the neon 4″ ones.) Doing this will prevent the snugging around the leg as the chick matures. Once the chickens are pretty mature, just a check now and then should seem sufficient to make sure they are OK. As with any foot band, make sure the other chickens are not pecking at the band thinking it’s food.
    I’m not telling you this for your benefit but for your readers who may not know about bands or wire ties. Great post!!!

    • tbnranch says:

      Good info friend, thanks for passing it along. I keep my youngsters all together until they reach maturity so I seldom put a leg band on them until they are full grown. The others do peck at it at first, you are right! But they soon figure out there’s no point in that and move on. The best bands I found were at fry’s electronics, so you must know what you’re talking about when you mentioned electrical supply stores, they must be used for use color coding, who knows. Whatever, they work great for hens!

      • True, I didn’t actually band my chickens until they were about 6 weeks old. I forgot about that. Yup, the color code is used in electronic equipment electrical harnesses. 🙂 Smart thinkin ‘Ma’am!!!

  4. kford2007 says:

    Another fantastic use for zip ties. Who would have ever thunk. 😉 You’re brilliant, Amy Elizabeth.

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