Many Poultry Club members have appreciated the benefits to be gained by joining the Ringing Scheme. Rings can be purchased in multiples of ten and are an extremely useful aid to bird identification and the recording of breeding lines for poultry keepers. This makes them a crucial part in the conservation and preservation of all our pure breeds of poultry.
Rings are available to both members and non-members of the Poultry Club of Great Britain and cost £3.00 per 10 rings (all sizes), for members and £4.50 for 10 rings, (all sizes), to non-members. Members purchasing rings to at the value of £30 or above can enjoy a 10% discount on the price of the rings.
Each ring is individually numbered and comes with the size and relevant year embossed on them. The colour of the rings changes each year in a six-year rotation in-line with those produced in Europe where leg-ringing is often compulsory. The rings look smart and professional and add to the overall presentation of birds.
Please Note - there is a £4 cover charge for each order, for both members and non-members which is used to off-set the cost of postage and packaging for the charity.
Download the form and either send by post with payment by cheque, or email completed forms to: email@example.com and make your payment via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, identifying yourself in the notes section that it is a ringing scheme order. You can also pay by card by telephoning the scheme co-ordinator; Kay Roadnight.
Please ensure that you use the current form from the website, as previous versions may contain different prices, which could delay your order.
The Poultry Ringing Scheme is voluntary in the UK. However, it has grown in popularity since its introduction in 1994 and currently around 30,000 PCGB leg rings are sold each year. The number of poultry breeders using the same scheme has risen considerably in recent years and the ongoing threat of notifiable disease has encouraged even more keepers to join the scheme and help safeguard their birds.
Rings can be worn by show birds who will not be at a disadvantage in comparison with non-rung birds in competition. The Poultry Club provides prizes for rung birds at the National Championship Show.
Security is another important aspect as it goes without saying that rung birds can be easily traced at all times. Even when a bird is sold the ownership can be transferred through the Poultry Club's record system. Poultry Club Council has recently agreed that the ring number may be tattooed under the wing as an extra security precaution.
The recording of breed lines is standard practice with most types of livestock and if poultry breeders are to move with the times, they should consider the merits of the ringing scheme. So if you are not yet a convert to rings why not try a few this year and see the benefits for yourself? Leading breeder and Panel A judge, Andrew Wetters is a supporter of the scheme and gives his opinion below:
“I have completed several seasons of using Poultry Club scheme rings, which is proving invaluable, as last year I had four breeding pens of one variety, three of another and two in two other breeds. With toe punching, the marks often grew out and ringing with plastic rings always left a few birds at the end of the season which could not be traced back due to loss of rings, or commonly when birds had been shown and become mixed up when unmarked.
Since changing to hatching by incubator, the use of small wire cages and divisions allows eggs to be sorted at 18/19 days at the transfer to the hatcher. Chicks are subsequently marked using felt tip markers, which is renewed as they come off the heat source, and then rung at up to ten weeks according to breed. Once rung, they are written up into a book and a permanent record achieved.
As time progresses and culls are made, the rings can be recycled for the later hatched chicks and records adjusted accordingly. Old rings have been kept back from later culls and I use them for breeding stock which will never be shown. For example, green leg pile and yellow leg black-red Moderns thus having all stock recorded even if the ring is not from the ring year.
When stock has been bought in I have had some success in ringing them with the next size of ring up, and as this stock is never shown, previous year's rings come in handy. On the odd occasion when a bird has been missed or lost a ring because it was too big, an oversize ring can be used. Timing is crucial with some stock, Sussex bantams for example, where the cockerels use a rather big D size ring and the pullets a C ring. Pullets need to be rung 2 to 3 weeks before the cockerels and the odd one may get missed.
The scheme does have a few drawbacks which are unique to poultry. Pigeon and rabbit fanciers can predict almost to the day when they need to ring their stock, but with poultry there is a degree of trial and error, and this is when fanciers have their highest stocking levels and most work to do.
I have found the rings very helpful in keeping breeding records and certainly easier to keep track of favourites - those promising chicks which steal the eye as youngsters and hopefully doing the same for the judge in the show pen.
I agree with some of the critics of the Ringing Scheme. A leg ring does not make a bad bird into a good one, or make it worth more money. But it does mean I know it is mine if there are any penning mix-ups at shows. I also know how it is bred and when it was hatched."
If you would like to participate in the Poultry Club's Ringing scheme, you can contact us by email. Our Ringing Scheme Co-ordinator is Kay Roadnight, who is happy to discuss the scheme and from whom rings can be purchased. We also welcome sponsors of the Ringing Scheme, with any help certain to assist in making the scheme more appealing to Poultry breeders.