Our chicks are now 10 weeks old and we are getting ready to integrate the females in with our older hens and separate out the cockerels into their own coop/pen. Since we are selectively breeding our chickens, we keep close track and records of each of the birds. So in preparation for the integration we banded each of the chicks and added them to the flock tracking sheet.
My favorite type of bands are these colored and numbered ones from Strombergs. I use the color to indicate which generation they are, and the number is for the individual bird. They stay on quite well, though we do occasionally find one off. And they come in a good variety of sizes.
We also clipped the left wing on every bird because we will be free-ranging them in the barnyard and we do that to keep them from flying up and over the fences.
We decided to use an alphabetical naming system this time around, since we are just getting back into breeding. So all the first generation birds are names that start with “A” – second generation will start with “B” – and so on. So the kids had fun coming up with “A” names for all the chicks.
We ended up with 27 surviving chicks – 7 cockerels, 19 pullets, and 1 unknown. The cockerels are all Buff Chantecler. We will pick the best one or two and keep them as breeding roosters, the rest will be butchered once they are big enough. There are 4 Buff Chantecler, 4 Partridge Chantecler, 1 Red Chantecler, 5 Easter Egger, and 5 Salmon Faverolles pullets. The last chick is a beautiful Splash Silkie. We are not sure yet if it is a male or female.