How to Read a Show Pig’s Ear Notches

If your competing in a showmen contest with your show pig, it is critical to understand your pig’s ear notch. Also as critical is the ability to read an ear notch while in the show ring in case the judge ask you to switch pigs while competing. This blog post is designed to help you be able to read an ear notch on the fly. It can be the difference between Grand Champion and Reserve in highly competitive showmen contest!

When does earn notching take place?

Ear notching is done at birth for a new born pig. It is designed to identify each pig at birth so that the similar looking pigs are not mistaken. All pigs in the same littler should have the same ear notch in the right year. The pig’s left ear is used to show individual identification for each pig in the littler.

How to Read the Ear Notch?

Ear notches are read with the litter number (right ear) first followed by the individual identification number (left ear) read second. The standard earn notch system will consist of a standard set of numbers and notches located in specific areas are the ear of each individual pig.

Please refer to the example below as we discuss the standard notches.

How to read a show pig's earn notch.

Show Pig’s Earn Notches

Standard notches in the pig’s right ear are the 1 notch located on the bottom of the ear near the pig’s head. Meanwhile the 3 notch is located on the side of the ear close to the tip. The 9 is located on the outer half of the top of the ear while the 27 notch is located closest to the head on the top of the ear. The largest notch number is the 81 notch which is located at the tip of the ear. Any combination of the standard notches can occur with no more than two notches of any one number. For example 3 +3 = 6 and you never see 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. This does not exist and neither does 81 + 81. There is only one tip on an ear, so there can only be one 81 notch. The right ear has a maximum number of 161 (81 + 27 + 27 + 9 + 9 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 161).

Standard notches on the pig’s left ear are the 1 notch located on the bottom of the ear near the pig’s head. Meanwhile the 3 notch is located on the side of the ear close to the tip. The 9 is located on the outer half of the top of the ear. The maximum number of the left ear is 26 (9 + 9 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 26). It is highly unlikely you would have 26 pigs born in a litter.

The easiest method of reading ear notches is looking down on the pig’s head from behind the ears. The right ear will be on your right side while the left ear will be on your left side. This method helps avoid mixing up the pigs right and left ear. Here is an example below:

Back of Pig Head with Notching

Pig Notching From Behind

 

Here is an example of reading a pig notch:

Before looking at the answer, see if you can get the answer correct. See the answer below.

Can you get the pig notch quiz correct?

Can you get the pig notch quiz correct?

 

We hope this information was helpful. We had many of our customers ask this question at ShowBarnSupplies.com “Ask the Expert Page, so we hope that this will help guide many of you to the winner’s circle. It’s critically important to understand many different aspects of the pig, but having this information will make you a more well-rounded showmen to the judges.

About Show Barn Supplies.com 

ShowBarnSupplies.com is the first online store dedicated specifically for livestock show supplies. We have supplies for show cattle, show swine, show goats and show sheep. We also carry a wide selection of show clothing and jewelry  We are the fastest-growing online show supply retailer. At ShowBarnSupplies.com, our goal is to provide the best selection, pricing, and unmatched customer service. Our website has quality show supply products from trusted manufacturers like Sullivan SupplyWeaver Livestock SuppliesKent Show Feed, Essential Show Feed, Big Sherm Feeders and more.

We thank the judgingconnection.com for this information. You can find the original information here - http://www.thejudgingconnection.com/pdfs/Reading_Ear_Notches.pdf

The Answer

Pig Notch Quiz Answer

Pig Notch Quiz Answer

 

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