Do you know why it is important to identify your animals? Do you know how to properly identify animals?
Storms may take down trees and cause damage to barns allowing livestock to walk through downed fences or an electric fence that is no longer hot. If a barn or chicken coop were to become damaged, it is possible that scared animals run quite far from their own home and your facilities. How would you identify your chickens and hogs from others that may have also escaped? If there was another outbreak of diseases like Foot and Mouth or Avian Influenza, how would we keep track of where animals have been, where they were born and sold?
The answer to all of this is through proper identification of all animals on your farm. There is a recent webpage developed by Dr Mike Westendorf, a Rutgers University Animal Science Professor. The site includes educational videos that describe the importance of animal identification and the common forms of identification used on farms in this area and around the country. Once the videos are viewed, there is a matching bingo game which can be used for a club meeting or skillathon station. I suggest you check it out!
By Carol K. Ward, County 4-H Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.