Prevent Flock Cannibalism with “Clip-On” Blinders / Peepers

Stop feather pecking with National Band & Tag’s “Clip-On” Blinders / Peepers!

All birds mildly peck to establish a pecking order amongst the flock. When this behavior escalates to feather pecking is when your flock is in trouble. Feather pecking includes ripping feathers out, damaging the skin, or even making another bird bleed. Feather pecking leads to cannibalistic behaviors.  You should try to prevent these behaviors, or immediately squash them in order to keep the whole flock from becoming cannibalistic. Birds have a tendency to copy each other, so if one starts pecking, others may follow.

Some conditions that can cause poultry (chickens, pheasants, quail, etc.) to start feather pecking include overcrowding, lack of food/water, stress, inadequate nest boxes, and more. You can get more details about these causes in the article, “FEATHER PECKING AND CANNIBALISM IN SMALL AND BACKYARD POULTRY FLOCKS” (By Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky). For gamebirds, space recommendations need to be double compared to chickens, and even larger for pheasants, according to, “Poultry Cannibalism: Prevention and Treatment“, (By Phillip Clauer, Pennsylvania State University).

You can take preventative measures by using NB&T’s “Clip-On” Blinders / Peepers on your whole flock before they start pecking, instead of just on the hens who are pecking. Our pinless peeper was designed with you, the customer, in mind. We spent over a decade developing, talking with customers, modifying, and improving the design of our pinless peeper (Style 3184L). While pinless peepers will have a percentage of loss, ours will stay in longer. You know it’s a National Band & Tag peeper because ours have “NB&T” molded into the back of the crossbar!


Clip on blinders and peepers         A chicken with pinless peepers on


We sell peepers in packs of 25, 50 & 100 on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases through this paid link.).  For quantities of 100 or more, you can buy from us directly online.  We offer quantity price discounts at 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000. We offer 10 different colors: Yellow, Orange, Green, Light Green, Blue, Light Blue, Pink, Purple, Brown, and White.

National Poultry Day 2019

March 19th is National Poultry Day! It’s a day when we recognize some of our feathered friends that are raised for their meat and eggs, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, quail, pigeons, guineas, and pheasants.

According to the USDA, “The U.S. poultry industry is the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of poultry meat and a major egg producer. U.S. consumption of poultry meat (broilers, other chicken, and turkey) is considerably higher than beef or pork, but less than total red meat consumption.”

National Band & Tag manufacturers a variety of products for poultry identification such as wing bands, leg bands, clip-on blinders, and more. These products are used by a variety of customers in the poultry industry that ranges from genetic research to small farms to universities and backyard farmers.

To learn more about National Poultry Day and different ways to celebrate it, check out their website here:


NB&T Featured in NAGA News

National Band has been longtime supporters of the North American Gamebird Association where we advertise and regularly attend conferences. We are very thankful for this business relationship and are honored that they featured our company in a recent publication of NAGA News. 

View the full article here.

National Band & Tag Company: A Family Story of Loyalty and Longevity

NAGA Partner Spotlight  by Rob Sexton

Beginning at the 2017 convention in Gulfport, Mississippi, the North American Gamebird Association began to do a spotlight on longtime corporate partners of the organization.

NAGA has been blessed with several relationships with companies that service the gamebird business, and have supported the organization for decades. One of those companies is about two hours from where I live, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio, in Newport, Kentucky.

National Band & Tag is located in the heart of Newport, a town of a bit more than 15,000 people that was settled in 1791. The company was founded 115 years ago in 1902!

The Beginning

The company has been located on Orchard Street since founder Joseph Haas moved his growing operation there in 1930. The company occupies most of an entire block now between Orchard and York Street, and has expanded several times over the years into a 90,000-square foot facility.

National Band & Tag makes identification bands and tags for all manner of animals including dogs, cattle, sea turtles and even shrimp! But the whole thing started with chickens. Today, it has become a popular trend in America to own chickens as people concentrate more on healthy living. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, owning chickens was a necessity for many people, and Joseph Haas was one of them.

SUNGLASSES to prevent poultry from pecking one another may no longer be in vogue, but National Band & Tag’s plastic pinless peepers are an extremely popular alternative.

Because so many people in the area owned chickens, flocks became co-mingled, many times resulting in confusion and sometimes tension with neighbors about who owned which chickens. Haas worked at a nearby screen door manufacturer, and asked if he could take home some scrap aluminum. He had an idea to make leg bands that would identify which chickens were the property of his family. And once he saw that they worked well, he had an idea that ID bands could be a profitable business.

In 1902, Joseph Haas purchased one press to give his idea a go. At the urging of his wife, Clara, he had an agreement with the manufacturer that he could return the press if the business did not take off. It nearly didn’t. One full year later, just after he had returned the machine, he received his first major order. He quickly reclaimed the press, and National Band & Tag, originally known as National Poultry Company, began to grow.

Sunglasses for Chickens

In 1939, second generation Haas, Fred Sr., along with his father, Joseph, crafted one of the most noteworthy products in the company’s history. While blinders to prevent chickens from pecking each other were already common, they invented red-lensed glasses for birds that filtered out the color red, which would normally result in chicken losses from pecking each other at the sight of blood.

The lenses pivoted to allow the birds to see their feed and water when they bent over, but fell back into place once a chicken stood up straight. While sunglasses for chickens are no longer in service, National Band & Tag continues to sell its plastic pinless peepers.

Loyalty and Longevity

ELEVEN HAAS family members currently
work at the family owned corporation.

Fast-forward to 2017 and the Haas family is still running National Band & Tag. However, it’s now the 4th and 5th generation of family members who work at the family owned corporation.

NAGA members have grown used to seeing Lan Haas, who serves as Vice President of Safety and Quality Assurance, at the annual convention. National Band & Tag has been supporting NAGA since 1995 when Eric Haas, (Lan’s father) started attending the annual conventions, and the relationship, now in its third decade, continues as the company purchased advertising in NAGA News in 2017, and will once again be exhibiting at the convention in Seattle in January of 2018.

The company operates more than 100 punch presses and employs 80 people, eleven of whom are Haas family members. Blood relation alone, however, will not get you a job at National Band & Tag. Family members are not sitting in offices overseeing the labor force. Each one plays a key role in the operation. Lan himself operated a press for six months so he could understand what employees were experiencing. Watching 100 punch presses running at once gave me an appreciation for Lan’s role as the head of safety.

I found a lot of shared values and work ethic between the Haas family business and the many family gamebird businesses that belong to NAGA. Much like the family farm, it’s family members who repair machinery when things break down. There are presses in operation today dating back to 1912. Family members work alongside factory supervisors to set up presses for different orders. Throughout our visit, we saw Haas family members on the factory floor, hands dirty, directly involved in the action.

The business is part of the fabric of Newport, and the employees themselves are like family as well. There are many employees who have been there for over 20 years and at one point three generations of the same family as well. Part of that company loyalty is a result of the work culture that has been handed down throughout the company history. There may be eleven Haas family members working there, but each one of them must serve an essential task for the company before the family board of directors will hire them.

ID Band and Tags Everywhere

manufactures many types of leg
bands, wing bands, dog tags, ear
tags and more.

As Lan conducted a tour for me and Daniel, we saw people producing many types of leg bands, wing bands, dog tags, ear tags and much more. Poultry represents about 25 percent of National Band & Tag’s annual sales.

In addition to birds, the company services other livestock including ear tags for cattle and sheep. It makes tags for wild turkeys and elk. And, it makes dog license and rabies tags for communities all over America. Universities use small animal ear tags made by National Band & Tag for lab animals including mice. Aquatically speaking, the company makes flipper tags for sea turtles and, as hard as this is to envision, it makes tiny eye-stalk bands for shrimp!

While the company has purchased manufacturing materials abroad in the past, National Band & Tag, like many other companies, found that American-made materials provide the dependable quality their customers rely upon. The customer is and has always been the key ingredient for the Haas family from the beginning. Customer feedback has literally driven changes in the product line over the years, and it continues to today, such as changes in the Pinless Peeper design made from feedback from NAGA members.

NAGA is grateful for the support it receives from corporate partners. Like National Band & Tag, the NAGA Board wants to hear from the members, and the staff wants to make changes to meet the needs of gamebird businesses as the years go by. Our trip to the little town that is literally in the shadow of the Cincinnati skyline showed me just one more reason why the gamebird industry thrives yet today.

View the full article here.

Chickens Can Put Their Shades On Too

Did you know National Band & Tag used to manufacture rose-colored Chicken Glasses to help stop chickens from pecking at each other? The sight of blood intensified the pecking instinct in chickens, so the rose-colored lenses made the red disappear, thus reducing cannibalism. The glasses we invented by National Band & Tag’s founder, Joseph Haas in 1939. These glasses for chickens are now considered to be a collectors’ item.

chicken with glassesanti-pix chicken glasses

Barry Weiss from the hit show Storage Wars found a few pairs of our Chicken Glasses in a storage unit and took them to a friend to see how they worked.

Have you ever seen a pair of these chicken glasses? We would love to hear your stories/experiences with this historic product!

What type of poultry identification is best for you?

Wing Bands
Wing bands are a permanent type of identification with a high retention rate that will stay with the chick for life and grow with it. Wing bands will not bother the bird and may be covered with feathers when they are older, making it more difficult to read. Wing bands are usually put on chicks, anywhere from a day old to a few weeks, but can also be put on adult birds.

Learn more about: Which Wing Band is Best for You


Leg Bands
Leg bands are aluminum or plastic band that wrap around a bird’s leg and must be fitted to their leg size. Leg bands are more commonly used on fully grown birds, but when used on a young bird, the band must be constantly changed as the bird’s leg grows. Leg bands can be a temporary source of identification or a permanent one. Plastic leg bands will fall off easier than metal ones due to the bird pecking at it or excess exposure to weather. Leg bands are the best option for those who do not wish to pierce the skin with a wing band or toe punch.

Learn more about: Which Leg Band is Best for You

leg band varieties

***Try a combination of leg bands and wing bands for guaranteed identification***

Peepers / Blinders
Plastic Peepers and Blinders are used to stop cannibalism amongst birds, such as chickens and pheasants, by hiding other birds from view. These are considered the modern version of chicken glasses. Some people will only use Peepers on birds that cause problems, while others will use them on their whole flock as a preventive measure. Try using different colors to track different ages or flocks of birds.

blinders for chickens

Toe Punches
Toe Punches can be used to mark the webbing between the toes of baby chicks. This option works for those who don’t need colors or numbers to achieve their ID goals. Toe Punches create a small 2mm hole in the webbing, and there is a total of 16 different markings possible (one hole, two holes, left foot, right foot, etc.). Toe punches can also be used to pre-punch a hole in the wing webbing for wing bands.

toe punches

Other Poultry Identification Options:
Neck Tags – Plastic tags that can be hung by the neck of a baby chick.

Wing Badges – Large plastic badge that attaches to the wing and has large visible numbers.

Bird Bits – Plated steel or plastic bits that are placed in the bird’s nostrils to help stop pecking. Special/deep feeders are needed so the birds may continue to eat.


Click Here to View All National Band & Tag’s Poultry ID Products!

How-To: Apply Peepers/Blinders

Tagging Hints: For best results, warm the blinders before applying, either soak in hot water or layout in the sun.

Peepers can be applied by hand – OR – use a Snap Ring Plier. Take an external plier with angled tips – place tips into blinder behind pins and spread apart. Line up pins with nostrils and release plier.

blinder application

rooster with blinders

rooster with clip on blinders

chicken with blinders

Check out our helpful YouTube video for applying Peepers:

Pinless Peepers – How to Stop the Pecking

Chickens are cannibalistic animals and will peck at each other if they see blood. To stop this, NB&T used to make rose colored chicken glasses. These are now obsolete, and the newest version is a plastic blinder, also known as Pinless Peepers!

pinless peepersNational Band & Tag Company spent 10 years developing these by talking with customers and members of the North American Gamebird Association (NAGA). We modified and improved the design and material used in our Pinless Peeper according to their feedback. You can tell it’s ours because our peeper has “NB&T” molded in the back of the cross bar. While pinless peepers will have a percentage of loss, ours has been designed to stay in longer! Our customers report that with the small percentage of loss with our peeper, the birds are not pecking and there is the added advantage that they don’t lose birds getting caught in the netting.

How to put on a Pinless Peeper:

  1. Warm the blinders before applying, either soak in hot water or lay out in the sun.
  2. Take a Snap Ring Plier (or use your hands) – place tips into blinder behind pins and spread apart.
  3. Line up pins with nostrils and release plier.

Watch an instruction video on how to put them on here: