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.
- 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.