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Age on the ear

The week of birth is tattooed on the animals`ears to know their age at all times.

Tuesday 13 October 2015 (3 years 5 months 9 days ago)

Tattooing equipmentGoal

Knowing the age of the animals at all times. Currently, on most farms the farm ID is not tattooed on the animals' ears and plastic tags are used. We re-use the old tattooing equipment to tattoo the number of the week in which the pigs in each batch are born.



At 7 days of age we vaccine the piglets against Mycoplasma, we ear-tag them with the farm ID and we also choose a 20-30% of the piglets (preferably white-coated, as in the case of brown- or black-coated pigs the tattoo is not noticeable) to tattoo the number of their birth week on their ear. We use ink dispensed with a ball.

Piglets with a tattoo on their ear


  • we re-use the disused tattooing equipment. We only need a set of numbers from 1 to 52 (the weeks of the year)
  • we know the age of the animals at all times. We also have a written protocol on the farm related to this datum that includes:
    • Moment for changing from one feed to another one: to control costs it is vital not to extend the period during which the young pigs' feed is given,
    • The different vaccines,
    • Reference age at slaughter, etc.

In this way we can check if things are being well done in each batch of animals.

Note: in our region, with a high pig density, this custom has been very useful for us for not forgetting any immunological time window in the fight against Aujeszky's disease

  • The number on the ear is noticeable in the farrowing buildings and even in pigs that are about to be slaughtered.

Piglets with a tattoo on their ear 2

Piglets with a tattoo on their ear 3

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