Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Replacing lost ear tag and the pig disaster tale to go with it...  (Read 3123 times)


  • Joined Apr 2022
  • Bishop Auckland, Durham
Last week we got two Kune Kune pigs - 2 year old castrated males called Dibble and McGrew - and fair to say it has not been an ideal start.

I initially put them in a small corral with hurdles to get them used to their new surroundings but they very quickly worked out how to get their snouts under and lift them up.

The second line of defence was electric netting in a larger grazing space around their inner corral - we had been using it for poultry and I wanted to use it along the area where the pigs are as a deterrent to foxes.

That seemed OK. The pigs had been used to low electric tape at their previous home, so this was new. They bumped it with their noses a couple of times, with much squealing, and then backed away.

So, I was just about to go to bed on Monday night when I heard horrific pig screams outside. I ran out to find McGrew wandering and grunting in one of the fields, uncomfortably close to our horses who DO NOT like pigs. I could also see blood all over his face.

The netting was in complete disarray - I can only think that he bumped into it, panicked and tried to turn, got caught up and as he tried to escape the ear tag snagged the netting and ripped out, so he now has half his ear hanging off.

At this point McGrew is refusing to go anywhere near the pen or the netting, Dibble decides to break out of the corral to join his brother and just then my wife gets home having driven a horse trailer from Durham to Banbury and back to Northumberland then Durham. Our only option is to rig up a temporary electric fence using cable in a corner of the field where they have decided to graze, which takes us until midnight.

Anyway, they now have an electric cable fence which they seem to understand and respect so I am hoping for less drama in the future. Frankly if they continue at this level of difficulty even my vegetarian wife will be happy to send them for bacon reassignment.

But my question is, to replace the ear tag - do I have to use their original herd number? And will a tag-maker do that for me if it isn't my herd number? Or do I use my herd number.

I've looked on the Defra site but apart from the advice that they all need tags or tattoos it doesn't seem to cover this eventuality, at least not anywhere I can find.


  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with sheep.
Re: Replacing lost ear tag and the pig disaster tale to go with it...
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2023, 08:35:07 am »
Having only had weaners that come with a sprayed stripe then get a tag off me when go, I can't really help.....

Except suggest, get the other half (you can if you want) blabber and cry on phone to either vet or Defra and explain what has happened and not sure what to do, first time with pigs????..... Stressed out........ Horses stressed....... Ask about tags!

Everyone seems to use the stress word these days and pigs AND livestock do cause stress so ask a PHYSICAL voice! They are supposed to know!
No matter how crap you feel, always remember you're one of the lucky ones with your own piece of land and loony sheep!


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Replacing lost ear tag and the pig disaster tale to go with it...
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2023, 12:07:50 pm »
You can get replacement tags. Or use yours and make a note in your movement/animal records.

Re fencing. As you have discovered pigs will soon be out of anything that isn't secure. Electric tape is far safer than netting for pigs. They are not being difficult, they are testing your system, which wasn't adequate.

Hopefully, things have settled now.


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