Sept 4, 2020 – Swine Identification

Now the way we primarily identify pigs is with ear notching. There is a numbering system that adds up. I’ll explain it to you.

When the pig is facing you, like this one is, you read the ear notches from left to right, just like a book.

The pig’s right ear (on the left when facing you) is the litter number. Every pig from the same sow in this litter will have the same notch in this ear. It quickly tells you who the mom is.

Now the pig’s left ear (on the right facing you) is the individual pig ID number. So if there were 10 pigs in this litter, they would be numbers 1, 2, 3, etc all the way to 10.

These images are from the extension office at the University of Nebraska.

Here is the link to the publication:

Now let’s practice.

This is a simple one. It’s the pig’s right ear, so it’s his litter number.

It’s litter number 1.

This is a litter mate to the pig above. Can you see that both right ears ar notched number 1?

Now this piglet is 1-1. Litter number 1, pig number one.

Identification is important when you have a litter like this.

You can’t readily tell them apart. If there are several people tending the pigs, and one needs extra attention or medication, it’s imperative that everyone can easily identify each piglet.

Here’s another one

This is piglet 12-1.

Here’s the explanation:

At times, we need to temporarily mark them. Perhaps we are giving medicine or dewormer or vaccines.

Then we simply need a temporary mark. In that case we can use something like this.

You can see a stripe down the side of two pigs in this picture.

We are excited to be preparing for our fall 4-H swine sale. We are praying that we can have a livestock show season and return to some semblance of normalcy.


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