Ring your zebrafinch


1. Benefits of ringing your zebrafinch

This will allow you to know their year of birth and to identify them, which will be essential for establishing a genealogy and monitoring your breeding. Each ring will be the identity card of each of your zebrafinch.
In addition, if you wish to have one of your zebra finches compete, only those who are ringed can participate. The ringed zebra finches of the current and previous year are eligible to participate in a gathering.
Then, a breeder will always prefer to buy a ringed zebrafinch on which he can be sure of the year of birth of this one and be informed of its origin.

2. How and when to ring the chicks

Video that illustrates how to handle the baby bird to ring it :

This diagram will also help you understand how to do this :

How to band a bird

In general, I ring around 5 to 7 days of life of the chicks.
From one day to the next the size of the leg changes very quickly and banding can then become difficult or even impossible and the reverse is also true. It is therefore preferable to check for a few days if the ring has remained threaded on the leg of each chick.

If you band and you can remove the band without difficulty, it is not good, try again the next day.

Tips : You can soak the rings in soapy water or oil, so the ring slips more easily on the leg.
Precaution to take : Avoid pulling too hard on the fingers, as this will cripple the zebrafinch. This also cannot be exposed for this reason.

3. What diameter to order

To give you an idea, I ring with a diameter of 2.9.
To avoid making a mistake your first year, I advise you to ring the same diameter as that of the parents.

To compete, the ring must not be removed from the leg of the adult bird.

4. Where to order rings

bird ring

Only affiliated ornithological associations can provide a breeder number and thus your ring sets. You will find on their respective sites order forms or how to proceed for the allocation of your breeder number which is usually done automatically during your very first order.

For example, here are the links of the 3 French organizations that will allow you to place your order:

- Commande de bagues C.D.E.
- Commande de bagues F.F.O.
- Commande de bagues U.O.F. (Path to follow: Files> Rings)

If you are part of a club, most often a bulk order is made.

Notes :
- I used closed anodized rings for several years. I found that they left black marks on the paws over time. I now order rings in the color of the year which do not leave these traces and which also have the advantage of easily identifying the year of birth of zebrafinch.
- Approved plastic rings are starting to appear, they can be interesting.


5. Information given by a ring

The information you will find on a ring is:

- The breeder's number (Stam number)
- The number specific to the bird
- Year of birth
- The diameter of the ring
- The letter from the country
- The acronym of the association which issued the ring

You will find in pictures where each information of a ring is located on the respective sites mentioned above.

6. How to remove a ring

It can happen that a swollen paw, or that with age a paw becomes bigger (full of scales).
It is therefore sometimes preferable to cut the ring to avoid injuries or not to go as far as amputation, see the loss of the bird.

You will find in stores or specialized sites ring-cutting scissors like this one :

Ring cutter scissors

Precautions to take : Hold the zebra finch tightly and cut where there will be a gap between the tab and the ring. In case of small wounds following the operation, apply Betadine.

Tony Lombard, amateur breeder.
Article published in 2019.

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Traceability Pedigree genealogy Breeding follow-up Identity card Ring cut Ring order Ring