Why Use Microchips?
The obvious reason to me is one of vanity. Honestly, I don't want my pricey, registered pig to have an ear tag, and I figure those purchasing registered pigs from me wouldn't like it either. Also, you get to know your breeding stock well. You can pick them out by their looks, personality, even the way they brush up against you sometimes, so needing a visual ID isn't necessary on breeding stock, in my opinion. Another reason, that is actually of more importance, is the fact that if your pig is lost or stolen, you know it has that microchip behind it's ear and you can prove that the pig is yours when you find it. Ear tags can be removed, but microchips are not likely to be suspected in the first place.
Who Gets a Microchip & Who Does Not?
Microchips, get your microchips! Wait just a minute. Not every pig needs or should even have a microchip. Breeding stock, yes! Pigs to be grown out for meat, NO! It is not recommended, because of food safety issues, to microchip "feeder" pigs, as the microchip could end up in your meat and then you'd be microchipped. I do my best to avoid such things, personally! Also, the visual ID of an ear tag on non-registered and feeder piglets is actually very useful. I will do a blog post on ear tagging soon where I'll tell you why.
I decided to go with the NanoCHIP microchips for a few different reasons. They're 6x smaller (smaller needle, smaller chip), for one. They can be read by all ISO compliant Universal readers. They come pre-loaded. They don't completely break the bank. Also, comparably priced microchips I found online weren't boasting very favorable reviews regarding longevity of the microchip. Pigs can live into their teens and 20's, so a microchip that only lasts a few years isn't going to cut it. Finally, Secondary Registration is free. That means that I, as the breeder, can register each piglet I sell and it will always and forever be traceable back to me as a secondary contact, regardless of whether or not the new owner chooses to complete the Primary Registration (www.fetch-id.com is one example). For a video overview of this microchip system, click HERE.
Bells and whistles are not important to me for this task. I need a reader that will effectively scan the microchip and display the correct number. I found the Animal ID scanner that does just that and is rechargeable via USB on Amazon (affiliate link below) for a reasonable price. Some microchip scanners are upwards of $200-$300, which is ridiculous, in my opinion, but this one works well and is only around $60.00. For a video overview of the Animal ID scanner in action, click HERE.
Just your average ex-medical scientist turned herb loving, natural living, homeschooling mom, wife, and homesteader who values common sense, real food, real people, primal instincts, and self-sufficiency.
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