Pigs and Chips: easy as 1, 2, 3
Here at Bel Canto Farm we use microchips to identify any pigs that are registered and sold as breeding stock. If a piglet meets our standard for quality and has reached seven weeks of age it will receive a microchip inserted at the base of the right ear. At that time, we also give the entire litter their first worming of Dectomax or Ivomec (Fenbendazole) via SQ injection. This is an ideal time to accomplish both tasks. The piglets are still light enough to be picked up and still have a week with their sow before the stress of weaning.
The microchip we use comes preloaded. Prior to inserting we use the reader to confirm the chip is in the needle. We record the microchip number in our herds production records under that pigs assigned herdbook number.
We purchase our microchips from microchipIDsystems.com but there are a number of company's that you can purchase from.
Once the microchip is inserted I will use the reader to verify that the insertion was successful.
Following the microchip insertion I administer Dectomax using a 20 gauge, 1/2 inch needle. An 18 gauge will also work. Dectomax is delivered using the SQ (subcutaneous) method, just below the skin at a 45 degree angle in the area on the neck between the ear and shoulder. (see image)
The entire process is quick and results in very little stress on the piglet. You will be nervous the first few times but with practice it will get much easier. Remember that a quick insertion is much less painful than a slow one.