Google +stay informed with this section

Practical tips on pig production: simple ideas you can use in pig husbandry. Do you have any tips you want to share with the rest of the pig333 users? Write us at
Section sponsored by


Read this article in:

Using different colored ear tags to identify piglets born during different weeks


The aim of this trick is to identify quickly and practically, the age of piglets and pigs just by looking at the color of their ear tag.

Tip description

Many farms use source identification systems for the identification of piglets (ear tags, tattoos, etc....) and the most widely used system are the ear tags.

Normally all animals use exactly the same color, although some farms use different ear tags for males and females. On this farm a different color ear tag is used for each week of birth: white, red, blue, violet, yellow, pink, etc.

This way you can know quickly just by looking at them, how old the pigs are.

There can be various uses for this, but mainly I can think of two:

1. In pedigree breeding (or on farms with auto-replacement), it serves to determine the actual age of gilts when they are being adapted to meet the minimum age required for mating (and not just the target weight).

Here are some gilts in gestation pens, bearing large yellow ear tags the with the sow number on it, but they still retain the round ear tag given at birth.

Here are some gilts in gestation pens, bearing large (yellow) ear tags the with the sow number on it, but they still retain the round ear tag given at birth. We can see a blue one, an orange one and a yellow one.

2. On commercial farms this system may be useful for identification if you are mixing animals of different ages, especially in farrowing and nursery. And also to be able to see at a glance, without having to consult the lot, the age at which animals are reaching the slaughterhouse. Many times it is normal to see two colors in a pen because they can be piglets from farrowing on two consecutive days, but there is usually one predominant color.

Here you can see the piglets in the nursery. How many ear tag colors you see in the picture?

The cost of this practice is zero, at least on farms that are already using ear tags to identify individual piglets.

Tips on pigs

Trolley with a slat bottom for the handling of piglets13-Jun-2012 4 years 4 months 13 days ago

Article Comments

This area is not intended to be a place to consult authors about their articles, but rather a place for open discussion among users.

saddle07-Sep-2012 (4 years 1 months 19 days ago)

I also use tags to tell the age of the pigs great idea

Leave a new Comment



57237 registered professionalsBeing registered in has many advantages and it's completely free
Access to informative newsletters