Let’s just say I’m not the pig farmer that I hope to be.
I tried. Really. When the Old Man handed me the “tagger” (let’s just call it that, k?), I tried.
He talked me up. If I hold him do you think you can tag the ear?
Thing is, pigs don’t like to cuddle. And they don’t politely stand still.
“It’s just like getting your ears pierced.”
It’s true. It is just like piercing your ears. It’s only a quick moment and then all is well.
But, the pigs.
The pigs are nothing like the little girl getting her ears pierced at the mall on her birthday.
So I called in reinforcements: Uncle to the rescue!
The boys were able to walk up on a few and tag them while they were sleeping or eating. There were a couple that we led into a makeshift stall we made out of the corner of the run and an extra gate.
Then they were on to us.
When we casually walked towards them, they’d casually walk the other way.
So to tag the remaining pigs one of the boys had to hold him and the other tagged. I stood by with the “tagger” and handed it to them when they were ready. That was my contribution.
This city girl.
3 Reasons to Ear Tag Livestock
I will agree that it is helpful to have the pigs numbered. Although I argued against it at first. We aren’t a large scale operation by any means, but a dozen pigs is more than we’ve ever had and my inexperienced eye finds it difficult to differentiate their subtle markings and tell them apart.
So far I have found thee reasons tagging the pigs to be helpful…
1. Numbers are a useful way to track and communicate about their health. Right now we have one with a mild cough that I’m following closely and it’s good to know that I’m watching the right one consistently. And if she needs any medical attention it’ll be clear that we have the right pig. Number Two has the cough.
2. Numbering provides a way to get to know their personalities and “name” them in a less “personal” way. We’ve not had attachment issues with the kids in the past but my son is older this time around and a lot more involved in the process. If I can’t find him he’s in the pigpen. In my naive city girl thinking, numbers instead of names = less attachment. These piggies are food, not friends.
3. Numbers will make it easier for the customer to communicate with the butcher regarding cuts, curing and seasoning preferences.
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