Today is the magic day for which I’ve been waiting, chickeneers; today is the day 2.0 got their leg bands.
Banding is optional, of course, unless you need to keep track of a large number of birds, or any number of birds with great precision (as in a careful breeding program). I like leg bands because they help me sort who’s who, especially at the beginning, when their feathers are changing daily.
You can go with devices intended for the purpose, of course. Goodness knows they exist. But I go budget, with a packet of small, coloured hair elastics from Scunci. It’s how I roll.
Being elastic, they are easy to put on (a two-person job, though), and easy to see from quite a distance. They do, sometimes, come off or become dirty, but they’re so inexpensive I don’t mind replacing them every once in a while.
2.0 is finally at a size where these ersatz leg bands will stay on…most of them, anyway.
They picked at them, at first, as 1.0 did, but they will become accustomed to them quickly. They may kvetch, but I have to believe wrapped hair elastics are more comfortable for them than metal.
This is the first time I’ve had a breed with dark shanks, and the bands look great on the Australorps:
But, wait…I hear you say; that chick to the left isn’t wearing one. Had you just not got to her yet when this photo was taken?
That’s Gidget, and she was the first one we banded. Her band fell off her foot before I was able to put her back on the ground. She needs to grow a bit more before she gets her leg band.
Other than Gidget, I haven’t attached name to chick, but now I will be able to tell them apart, and watch for behaviours that will help me decide.