Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:28 pm Post subject: Fitting Leg Rings
There are several types of ring and they come in sizes to fit all birds from Finches to Macaws. The main two types are CLOSED RINGS and SPLIT RINGS.
CLOSED RINGS: a solid ring that is put on the chicks leg and cannot be easily removed and is less likely to get caught on anything than a split ring. They are designed to stay on the birds leg for life and are engraved with details to identify your bird. In the UK there is a different colour ring for each year so if you stick to this it is easy to identify birds without handling every one. The ring can be engraved with the breeders initials and a personal identification number specific to that bird, the year the chick hatched and ring size are also included.
You need to anticipate the need for rings and order them in time to fit to your chicks before they grow too big!
The size recommended for Kakarikis is “M” size which is 4.4mm (I have a large male with a P size ring on and it is far too loose and could more easily get caught on small twigs etc than the correct size)
Fitting a Closed Ring
It is best to do this at about a week old, although It’s better to try to early and the ring fall off than to leave it to late and the foot is too big! And false starts are good practice. I noticed to start with the new chicks curl their feet up and at that point the ring will just drop off but after about a week just about when the eyes start to open the claws aren’t clenched up as much and this I have found is the best time to fit the ring. But the chicks grow real quick so keep an eye on them…. A day makes a lot of difference!
SO…. Choses you oldest chick and the lowest numbered ring….. You may want a helper to hold the chick safely while you concentrate on the foot. gently hold the chick and the foot so you have the 3 largest toes forwards
Gently push the ring over these toes up to the knuckle, with the ring the right way up so the writing is not upside down when on the leg. The other toe needs to go backwards in line with the leg and you just push the ring on up and over the knuckle to just below the knee joint.
If this is a bit tight you can use something to lubricate it…..( I just lick my finger and rub it around the foot joint) Finally, carefully hook the end of the last toe out of the ring with your finger nail or a cocktail stick. The ring should then be free to drop down to the ankle.
Check that it cant come off and place the chick back in the nest box. Keep an eye on the chick to make sure the ring does not go up over the knee joint over the next few days
Don’t forget to record each number in your records so you can be sure of the breeding etc. for the future.
In the UK you can also register your birds identity with the Avian ID website which was set up to help with retrieval of lost or stolen birds.
PLASTIC SPLIT RINGS can be fitted at any age and are most useful for your personal identification… ie male/female or family groups they come in many colours and with an applicator and have different size codes to the closed rings. “ X3” is the size for kakarikis.
To fit the ring slide it up the applicator until it is open wide enough to go around the leg
Place it around the birds leg and ease out the applicator and the ring will close up around the leg………………. And probably stay on for a little while if you are lucky…. Out of 10 I used last year only one is still on!
Getting your rings in the UK
If you are a member of the UK Parrot Society you can order rings through them .. they have an additional “PS” marking on them that stands for “parrot society”
ive always used split rings on my kakarikis (to identify family groups and juveniles) and its always been fine. only ever know 1 to 'fall' off.
the size i buy in SP5. i was just wondering if that the right size or not? ive never seen them sold as X3 before :/ they are about 4mm diameter.
do you recommend using only closed rings? if you can only just sqeeze it onto the foot at a week old doesn't it soon get too tight around the leg? some of my male kakarikis have really chunky legs, i would be really worried about putting a closed ring on them :/
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