Ear tagging pigs ?

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Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby yorkshire duck » 05 Jul 2012, 10:29

We've just started with pigs, we've so far raised 4 lots of 3 from weaners to slaughter weight, so 12 in all. Not a large number, but we've had problems with ear tags for each of them, so we wonder what anyone else does ?
Twice we've bought in the weaners & the seller has ear tagged them just before we collected them ; ALL of the tags fell out, which we weren't all that bothered about actually cos the metal tags are really sharp & irritated the pigs ears constantly, they were always sore & they rubbed them all the time, as soon as the tags were out their ears healed up within a matter of days.
We've ended up tagging all of them as they were loaded in the trailer to go the abbottoir ; but the applicators & the quality of the tags is rubbish , half the time the tag didn't snap shut or dropped out of the applicator; we've ear tagged plenty of sheep before so aren't entirely amateurs even though not experts.
We're lucky our abbottoir is a small local one & we can book in our pigs to go in when theres no others, so tagging issues are more relaxed.
But what does anyone else do; or the big breeders ?
Chickens, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, cats & anything else that turns up on our doorstep won't be turned away.
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby brooksidepoultry » 06 Jul 2012, 22:55

Thats a bit annoying could you possibly get the round plastic tags used for sheep & calves? x
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby yorkshire duck » 09 Jul 2012, 10:47

Wish we could but the tags have to be metal to withstand the boiling water in the machine that removes the hair from the carcass, plastic tags would melt.
Chickens, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, cats & anything else that turns up on our doorstep won't be turned away.
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby Chris Kurzfeld » 09 Jul 2012, 12:18

I had a problem with tagging lambs this year , turned out they had changed the tags slightly so I needed an adaptor for the tagger - once I had that they were fine and stayed put.
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby yorkshire duck » 10 Jul 2012, 09:17

Our applicator is specific to the tags, as advised by the makers & nothing has been changed.
Basically they just don't work !!
We're ok, as long as its only our pigs going in ; obviously its only ours & with there just being 3 we can fill in the travel regs & the abbottoir can do their paperwork too, on an guesstimate basis as to which pig corresponds to which tag number. If the vet insists, the abbottoir staff will tag the pig as its bleeding out, so the individual carcass can be identified , but this is on a dead pig which will feel no pain & they can be as 'business-like' as necessary to get the job done.
We don't have large numbers of pigs , & we're flexible about when to take them in , so its not a big problem really to us, but however does anyone with an amount of pigs cope ?
Chickens, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, cats & anything else that turns up on our doorstep won't be turned away.
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby HellsBells » 11 Jul 2012, 17:19

Have you thought of slap marking the pigs instead? We've only raised 2 pigs to slaughter weight, but a friend leant us their slap marker and ink and we bought the tattoo plate (with our herd number) to fit it. It was very quick and seemingly painless (for the pigs). They didn't even flinch when they were slapped. We did it a few weeks before they were due to go, and the tattoo was clearly visible on the skin after they were slaughtered - has the added advantage of you knowing its your pigs/pork you're getting back from the abbatoir (which can be a issue with some of the larger abbatoirs).

I understand that slap marking is what most larger pig farms use as you don't have the issues of the tags falling or being pulled out of the ears.
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby petejw76 » 11 Jul 2012, 17:47

i have a friend who tattoos the ears.
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Re: Ear tagging pigs ?

Postby yorkshire duck » 11 Jul 2012, 21:35

Thanks, I think we'll have to look into slap marking, we automatically went for the ear tag option as thats how we identify the sheep & goats but it seems that pigs need a different system. Cheers
Chickens, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, cats & anything else that turns up on our doorstep won't be turned away.
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