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Pig ear notches and tags

Posted by naturegirl_2007 5b SW Michigan (My Page) on
Tue, May 13, 08 at 23:43

What do the notches placed on the edges of pig's ears indicate? Also, what info do ear tags (or whatever they are called) show? Does everyone use these markings or is it a personal preference. I see these on some animals at a local school associated farm. They already think I'm hopeless as far as farm animals go....but I'm trying to learn :)


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RE: Pig ear notches and tags

The right ear notches designates the litter number (how many were born in that litter) and the left ear notches designate that pig's number in the litter. If you Google "Swine ear notches", there are a number of sites that explain the notching system and how to add the numbers correctly.


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RE: Pig ear notches and tags

The right ear notch on a pig identifies which litter the pig is out of;i.e. which sow is the dam of the litter,records are kept with this info;i.e. (miss piggy is the dame of litter #1 and so on). The left notch identifies which pig in that particular litter;i.e. 1-1 maybe would be a white barrow from litter #1) and so on. Lots of state associations have their own ear tags, lots of individual farmers have their own tags for idendification.The National Swine Registry suggest that you start over on July 1st. with litter #1, but we don't do this.I suspect only farms with huge numbers of sows do this. Lots of individual shows for swine have their own tags which must be used to show the animals. I raise pigs, have been doing it for 25 years, anymore questions I will be happy to answer. piggy


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RE: Pig ear notches and tags

Thanks! I checked some sites and think the notch number system would be fun for some people I know who like to play with numbers.

Pkspigs, I just learned what a barrow was two weeks ago...not a term I'd heard before in my many years of living. The demo farm has one barrow and two gilts, all about two months old. Today I learned that one of the ear tags in the pigs had to be put in by last week to qualify the pig for a 4H fair in the fall. Interesting to see how they keep everything legit.


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