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Ear Notching Guidelines

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Registrar Registrar 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #21259 Reply
    Member: GA Bob Hayles
    Bob Hayles
    Participant

    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?

    #21260 Reply

    Kelly Luzier

    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.

    #21261 Reply
    Member: PA Duane Luzier
    Duane Luzier
    Participant

    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:

    #21262 Reply
    Member: PA Duane Luzier
    Duane Luzier
    Participant
    #21263 Reply
    Member: GA Bob Hayles
    Bob Hayles
    Participant

    Thanks Duane. Now if I can just find the right boar so I have a use for the notcher!

    #21277 Reply
    Member: GA Bob Hayles
    Bob Hayles
    Participant

    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?

    #21281 Reply
    Duane Luzier
    Kelly Luzier

    bbPress ANTISPAM: Referrer: Notch only the ones that you plan on selling for registry

    #21282 Reply
    Member: IN heritagemeadowsfarm
    heritagemeadowsfarm
    Participant

    I notch em all, makes for easier book keeping. When they are sold or butchered then they are removed

    #21283 Reply
    Member: GA Bob Hayles
    Bob Hayles
    Participant

    Thank you. That’s what I thought but wasn’t sure.

    #21286 Reply
    Member: WI NorthernMarsh
    NorthernMarsh
    Participant

    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.

    #21292 Reply
    Member: GA Bob Hayles
    Bob Hayles
    Participant

    Huh…good points, especially not being able to tell eaarly which are breeding quality. Thanks.

    Bob

    #21322 Reply
    Member: IL
    Laurel and Art
    Participant

    I’m new to raising pigs and didnt notch them at birth. They are 1 week old today. Can we still notch them? Laurel

    #21323 Reply
    Registrar
    Registrar
    Moderator

    Congratulations on your new litter! It is never too late to notch. That being said, notching sooner rather than later is always preferred.

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