Ear Notching Guidelines
February 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm #21259
I’ve looked over the ear notching guide and its pretty clear except for one thing…notch size. Searching the net I see notchers that make notches anywhere from 3/16″ wide at the base to 1″ wide. That doesn’t sound like much but its a big difference when growth of the size of the pig (and accompanying growth of the notch) is taken into consideration.
What size notcher should I get?
Also…say I get a litter of 10 pigs, 5 of which will sell as breeding stock and 5 that are, for whatever reason, designated as feeders. Is there some reason I haven’t thought of that means I should be notching the feeders?February 22, 2016 at 3:40 pm #21260
bbPress ANTISPAM: Referrer: I purchased mine at Tractor Supply, they make a smaller notch perhaps 1/4″. We notch within the first hours and as the piglet grows, the notch also gets bigger. I have however seen photos of hogs with the larger notches and ears that look like they are scalloped. As long as you they are visible and discernible for ID purposes they are good.February 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm #21261Member: PA
We use small notchers from Tractor Supply. As long as the notches are visible and discernible they are good. Some folks notch with the bigger ones and their pigs look scalloped along the ear edges which is ok. The small notches done when the piglet is newborn will grow as the ears grow and as long as you can count and read them for ID purposes on the registry, they are good. Here is the link to the notchers that we have:
February 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm #21262Member: PA
Duane LuzierParticipantFebruary 22, 2016 at 6:16 pm #21263
Thanks Duane. Now if I can just find the right boar so I have a use for the notcher!March 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm #21277
Still needing the other half of the question answered…say I have a litter of 10 piglets and 5 are looking like possible breeding stock and the others are, for whatever reason, obviously feeder pigs. Is there a reason to notch all of them, or just the ones thaat may be registered and sold as possible breeders?March 1, 2016 at 5:12 pm #21281
bbPress ANTISPAM: Referrer: Notch only the ones that you plan on selling for registryMarch 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm #21282Member: IN
I notch em all, makes for easier book keeping. When they are sold or butchered then they are removedMarch 1, 2016 at 10:01 pm #21283
Thank you. That’s what I thought but wasn’t sure.March 2, 2016 at 6:17 am #21286Member: WI
Yep, I notch all of the piglets at under 24 hours old with the small “V” notcher (instead of the “U” notcher.)
I notch all of them for a couple reasons, largest of which is at that age you have absolutely no idea if they’re going to be breeding quality or not. Other reasons include book keeping (worming, sales, etc) and for identification if they’re stolen (yep, it happens…had a boarlet and a gilt stolen out of the field last year). If I spot ’em out in someone’s field I can have the sheriff check notch numbers to my theft report. Not a guarantee at getting my pigs back, but, it’s sure going to be more helpful than trying to reclaim unnotched pigs.March 2, 2016 at 7:02 am #21292
Huh…good points, especially not being able to tell eaarly which are breeding quality. Thanks.
BobMarch 17, 2016 at 1:54 pm #21322Member: IL
Laurel and ArtParticipant
I’m new to raising pigs and didnt notch them at birth. They are 1 week old today. Can we still notch them? LaurelMarch 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm #21323
Congratulations on your new litter! It is never too late to notch. That being said, notching sooner rather than later is always preferred.