This trick allows quick identification of the age of replacements.
In small and medium-sized farms the replacement females are often housed together with the fattening pigs, or even held all together as a single group
We know that gilt age at first mating is a very important trait for a good performance; however, it is difficult to know it at first sight. Although the pigs have a correlative number in their tags, they are usually all the same colour and, in order to recognize an individual pig, the tag number must be read. Sometimes they don’t even have a tag: breeding pigs are recognized simply because they have a whole tail or because (against animal welfare indications) theyhave an identification notch in their ear.
A simple, economical and practical trick is to identify the replacement gilts with tags of different colours according to the batch they belong to, that is, piglets of the same batch (regardless of them being a one, three or more weeks) will be tagged with the same colour, for example green. The next batch will be red, and the following one will be blue, yellow, etc. A sequence of consecutive, easily distinguishable colours must be chosen (for example: green after blue is less suitable than green after yellow). The longer the interval between batches, the fewer colours will be needed. It is still easier if you make a table with the computer (see table) with its own numbering system.
|Batch 1||1 to 20|
|Batch 2||21 to 40|
|Batch 3||41 to 60|
|Batch 4||61 to 80|
|Batch 5||81 to100|
|Batch 6||100 to 120|
|Batch 7||120 to 140|
When the gilts are in one group, it is very easy to differentiate the females that have to enter acclimatization from those that will make up the next mating group.