CSU ext

Livestock Identification


Why is it important to have each animal identified?
Individual animal ID’s are essential at a county fairs. Appropriate identification helps to ensure that the animal that was tagged at weigh-in is the same animal admitted to the fair. Individual animal ID’s are especially important from a bio-security standpoint as they immediately identify a sick animal and any others that may be from the same premises.

Ear tag isentification on pigs
Record ear tag of animal

What is the best type of individual animal identification?
There are seven types of approved animal identification. Nose prints, retinal scans and DNA all work well as they are permanent and unalterable. Other types of permanent identification include tattoos and ear notching in swine. Ear tags, both visual and electronic are used but can be lost or replaced. A microchip is another type of electronic identification but they can migrate or be replaced.  

In selecting the most suitable form of identification; cost, application, readability, reliability, species involved, and how permanent and unalterable the identification must be considered by the fair organizers.

Retinal scans, nose prints and DNA are popular as they are individual, permanent and involve third party responsibility.

retinal scan on a sheep
Retinal scan of sheep
Retinal scan of a goat