By Kelly Klober
The numbers one through sixteen can be encoded into a chick via the toe punch system. These punches can denote the hatch from which the chicks came, the breeding pen that produced them, their time of hatch or other designation.
The punches are painless and made in the fleshy webs between the chick’s toes. An all-metal toe punch will cost about five dollars. Keep it clean and disinfect it in a simple alcohol bath before and after each use.
Make the punches crisp and quick. Then be sure the small flap of flesh is completely removed to prevent the punch from closing back up.
The following is a suggested sequence to use as a toe-punching guide.
Source: Talking Chicken