Avoid that the sows lose their ear tags.
The problem that has always existed when identifying the sows at the farms is well known. We have used tattoos (on the ear or the loin), and the marks on the ears nowadays forbidden in some countries. These systems are not very effective, and it is difficult to read the number (ID) of the animal, so since recently, we are choosing to use the ear tags as an identification means for the sows. This new method has created new problems, as the loss of the ear tag due to the bitings between animals. With the enforcement of the new EU welfare law that forces to house the animals in groups as of the 28th day of gestation, this problem has become worse on many farms. We suggest a simple trick that will avoid the loss of the ear tags.
In the gilts rearing stage
We suggest to place a round male piece on the outer part of the ear. This male piece does not stick out, so there will not be any exposed surface that can be bitten. The female piece will be a "paddle", it will be placed in the inner part of the ear and it will include the number (ID) of the animal.
Entry into production
We identify the sow with its final number (ID) in two ear tags:
- Ear tag no. 1: two plastic "paddles" (male and female) with the final number (ID) that the sow will have on our farm.
- Ear tag no. 2: on the same ear or on the other ear. Round male piece on the outer part and female "paddle" with the same number on the inner part of the ear.
With this easy method we will ensure that we keep the sow identified at all times.