Ringing your chiks.

Ringing your chicks – Things to look out for during and after ringing - Courtesy Wout van Gils

Ringing is always an enjoyable activity with the chicks having survived their first critical phase and having started gathering plumage. Rings are normally supplied by the club or federation to which you are affiliated. They indicate the name of the club or federation concerned, the breeding year and sequential number issued.

Young roller chicks should be rung when they are 5-6 days old.

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However problems may arise, for instance:


  1. Chicks rung too late or too early.
  2. Injuries incurred during the ringing.
  3. Parents throwing the young with ring out of the nest.
  4. Ring becoming fastened.


Most of us will recognise the above cases and how best to avoid them.

The best time to ring your young chicks is when their first excretions appear around the rim of the nest. This is an indication that the hen no longer cleans the nest and minimises the chance that the parents will regard the ring as droppings.

When attempting to ring it is also recommended to moisten the toes and leg to allow easy passage and avoid possible injuries.

It is also advisable to check a few times that the young are still in the nest in spite of your good intentions. Better to check once too often than to lose a bird. If you do find a seemingly lifeless bird on the floor of the cage do not dispose of it straightaway but place it in the palm of your hand and warm it with your breath. Quite often the young do recover.


Hint : In addition to the above I also do the following: - before returning the young to the nest after they have been rung I cover the bottom of the nest with a little seed. The parents will initially try to clean out the nest but find this too laborious and soon give up. In this way it becomes very rare that the parents will still continue to throw their newly rung chicks out of the nest. Try it and see for yourself