Chicken leg rings are brightly coloured pieces of plastic that are placed around the leg of a chicken (or other bird) and are a good way of identifying birds, the year they were born, or where you acquired them from.
We like to ring the birds that we have bred ourselves. This make it easier for us to identify them, and pull them out of the flock, should we want to breed from their eggs again. This way we can cut out any in-breeding within our flock. Yes, the rings do on occasions fall of, so if we are at all suspicious of a bird, we remove that as well.
Typically, with chickens, we apply leg rings at 3 months of age. If you need to apply them before this, be aware that you will need to change them, as the bird grows.
Application is simple. Pick up the bird, lay it on its back in between you arm and hip (left arm and hip if right handed). Take the ring in you other hand, open it up, and place around the leg. Click the ring together, and release the bird. Full details can be seen in the video below.
Chicken leg rings are cheap, and available from places such as Amazon and eBay. They are quick and easy to apply, and can be done one handed by one person, but 2 may sometimes make the process easier for all concerned.
There are many different reasons why you may want to rings your chickens. But by having the birds ringed, allows for easier identification. The chicken leg rings do not damage or hurt the chickens, so long as a few precautions are followed.
- Its best to place these onto chickens either in the morning, or when the chicken has gone into roost. This is when the bird is most subdued.
- Choose either left or right legs to apply the ring, and place it around the leg.
- When attached, the ring should still be able to move up and down the leg, but not so far as to up the thigh, or slip of the foot.
- Keep and eye on the birds, and make sure they are coping well with their new jewellery.
- Check the birds every month, and make sure they haven’t out grown the ring. If they do, order bigger one.
Rings can be applied to all birds, from small quail, up to ducks and geese.