Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: What pig tag to use?  (Read 2398 times)


  • Joined Jan 2022
What pig tag to use?
« on: April 10, 2022, 11:58:37 am »
Hi. We've been fattening some porkers and they are nearly ready for the abbatoir. Its our first go at this and I'm looking at ear tag systems. The plastic ones seem easiest but none are that clear as to whether they are heat proof and OK for the abbatoir. I wondered if anyone had any suggestions for the most cost effective and easiest ear tag to use? We might do this once a year max so don't want to spend a fortune and the metal system seems to need the specialist applicator. Thanks for any recommendations.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: What pig tag to use?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2022, 05:46:40 am »
For a number of years I tagged pigs shortly before sending them to the abbatoir and found that restraining a pig bigger and stronger than me could be a somewhat traumatic experience for both me and the pig.

Last year I got a slap marker and it is so much easier for everyone involved.


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: What pig tag to use?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2022, 08:20:45 am »
I use fearings pig tags. You get them in batches of ten where as the metal z tags are now in batches of 250. They are heat resistant.

Or you could get a slap marker as oor wullie suggests.

I have never restrained a pig to put in a tag. I either do them in the trailer before I set off or at their last feed. Just slide the applicator onto the ear and squeeze.


  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: What pig tag to use?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2022, 08:23:29 am »
We tag ours with plastic button tags. But before purchasing yours it's worth checking with your abattoir if they accept plastic tags as not all do, I think some will only accept metal ones.

We tag ours about a week before they go off. Tag too early and you risk them being lost and then you'll have to tag them again. Once your pig has its snout in a bucket of food it's relatively straightforward to tag it while it's eating. Most don't even notice you doing it. If you make a big fuss of your pigs regularly and they are very tame then some will just let you tag while you are fondling their ears.

A slap marker is possibly easier for lots of pigs (and you can be certain of getting your own pork back as well) but the kit isn't cheap, so unless you do have lots of pigs it's more cost effective to get a few tags and tag applicator.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 08:28:12 am by Richmond »


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: What pig tag to use?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2022, 10:53:56 am »
Yes, we just fondled ears for a week while they were eating, then tagged them. Only one even noticed.

These were plastic tags BTW, and we've used two different abattoirs with them, without issue. Do check though.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


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