How to band your birds
Leg Banding Procedure – Closed Band
by Our NFSS Band Secretary
The important thing to remember when banding chicks is take your time! Band your chicks over a counter or table with a towel underneath. If you drop your band you can easily retrieve it. Also, if the chick is dropped it doesn’t fall to the floor or cold counter. The age to band varies between species but is generally between 5 and 8 days. You can tell by looking at the ankle joint (the joint where the toes come together) and the size of the band should be able to slide over it with little struggle.
Have the bands, a toothpick (or other simular instrument) and some lubricant ready. Should you be late in banding the chick a dab of lubricant will come in handy. Just a very small dab on the chicks leg or directly on the band. After applying the band wipe any excess lubricant away. There should be no open full feathers to worry about yet. Chicks should have closed eyes still or just opened. Their wing feathers should still be pretty much still in quills during banding. Although not necessary place the bands “right side up” for easier reading. Right or left leg does not matter which leg your are banding. Try not to place 2 bands (one plastic or E-Z ring and one aluminum) on the same leg. Use the other leg instead. One band aluminum for permanent identification and one colored plastic for sexing, family band or whatever method you are using to track/recording in your records.
Step 1: Cup hand and place bird in your palm.
Step 2: Close your 3 fingers over the bird lightly.
Your thumb and pointer finger holds the bird s leg. 3 Toes are relaxed & pointed to receive the band.
Step 4: Slide band over front 3 toes. Continue to slide band over the ankle/knuckle. Free the back 4th toe from closed band.