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Kunekune Ear Tag Requirements: Demystifying the Process

You've carefully grown your piglets to breeding age and had your first successful litter and now go to register your new breeding quality stock for future generations. However, you become frustrated because it is so confusing! I know I did. I hope to help provide some answers and guidance on one of the most confusing parts, the ear tagging process.


In order to submit your DNA you first need to have litter notified with the registry of your choice. I have a post about the three different registries if you need to read up on that. In order to even submit the paperwork to send off your DNA you already have to have your piglet's unique identification that you'll be using. Depending on registry you can use ear tags, microchips, tattoos, or ear notching. For the purpose of this post I am only going over ear tags.


First step: Get a Premise ID


  1. Visit the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)  Website

  2. On the site click on the state where your located. This is where it does get tricky because each State has different requirements

  3. For Texas where I am located, they prefer you call TAHC at 512-719-0733.

    • They will give you your premise ID over the phone, its a 7 alpha numeric characters that begin with 00

  4. The Premise ID stays with that address and doesn't change.


Second Step: Order Ear Tags


The only requirement is they have to be USDA approved 840 ear tags and you need your premise ID to order them. There are multiple sites that you can purchase from, I usually shop around but I have linked QC Supply for this post just for consistency. I also only research AllFlex Tags which are the ones I have used. I am sure that Y-Tex has the comparable alternatives.


Basic Option


  • Male button is left blank, will not have an imprinted management number or Premise ID on it

  • No RFID

  • Comes in 6 possible color options: Yellow, White, Blue, Pink, Orange, Green

  • Bag of 25

  • $1.20 per tag at the time of this post

 

Premise ID Printed on Tag


  • Male button can have a custom number or Premise ID number printed on it

  • No RFID

  • Comes in 6 possible color options: Yellow, White, Blue, Pink, Orange, Green

  • Longer shipping and processing time due to customization

  • Bag of 25

  • $1.17

 

RFID FDX

  • Has RFID to easily use a chip reader or wand to scan pig to get ID instead of trying to read a tiny number on an ear of a moving pig

  • FDX (full duplex) tags have a shorter reading range and no protection from outside interference.

  • Color: Only Yellow

  • Bag of 20

 

RFID HDX


  • Has RFID to easily use a chip reader or wand to scan pig to get ID instead of trying to read a tiny number on an ear of a moving pig

  • HDX (half duplex) tags are higher performing and have a longer read range with protection from outside interference.

  • Could be used in monitoring and automated feeding and care operations.

  • Color: Only White

  • Bag of 20


Last Step: Apply Ear Tags

I recommend going to your veterinarian with your ear tags and applicator and have them show you how to do your first tag and then have them watch you do the rest. The Kunekune registry prefers that we tag all pigs in their right ear. Geraghty's Microfarm has a quick video on how to Ear Tag, pull DNA, and deworm your piglet. I like this video because they show you the Y-Tex ear tags so you can see the different options and can give you the next steps in getting your piglets registered!




This the applicator for the All Flex Ear Tags.



I hope this blog post helped demystify the ear tagging processes for Kunekune pigs and possibly other swine. If you have any questions feel free to reach out or suggest any other topics you would like to hear about!

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