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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Local Animal ID

Yesterday, early, before milking even, I was out scrambling around on the ice, rapidly congealing pen in hand, (black ink only) participating in our personal brand of animal ID. As I tried to sneak around on each side of my victim I wondered why the heck our registered herd of Holstein cattle needs fancy tags and yet ANOTHER database to make them traceable.

See, Bariolee, daughter of Baton Rouge, calf of Beausoliel, daughter of Pat Berretta, daughter of LV Banana (and that is just from memory WITHOUT opening the herd book in the office) jumped out of the sawdust shed and went to see the bull. In order for her to get her registration papers, the Holstein Association needs a map of her spots. I was out in the just above zero temperatures drawing that map with a pen that was freezing up every couple of seconds. She should have been registered months ago when it was warmer. However, no one likes drawing the spotty ones and she is covered with little jiggles and speckles and such.

Now that she is "drawn" she has been turned in with Magnums Promise, our (also registered) milking shorthorn bull and both are enjoying a vigorous honeymoon. Hopefully a curly headed little black calf will show up in about nine months.

But can anybody tell me why these two animals need more identification than they already have. Not only is Lee, as we call her, purebred, registered, mapped AND already eartagged, but I can recite her pedigree back four generations without even getting out my notebook.
And tagging doesn't carry a lot of weight anyhow. We have a pen with eleven yearlings in it. All were tagged with the same type of tagging system the government advocates. THREE still have their tags! THREE! There must be something on the feed through that is snagging them. No problem though. All but two are registered and thus mapped, so all we have to do is look at their papers. Any anyhow, Liz knows most of them and I know the others.

And then there is the fact that about twenty years ago an animal from here triggered a test at the state when we sent her to the auction. There was nothing wrong with her, they had just changed the test and it was so super sensitive that there were a lot of false positives. You know what? They were on our farm testing the whole herd the next day. No forty-eight hour traceback, more like eighteen! They don't need a new system to traceback cows. They just want more control over our personal property.

Bah, humbug. At least the new camera will make it unnecessary for me to draw spotty calves any more. If the batteries don't freeze that is.


Walter Jeffries said...

This is a major issue for me. I don't see our pigs keeping their tags in because they love to mouth things. Tags will ead to ripped ears and possibly infections which means injured animals, lost time and money. Even my sheep don't keep their tags. Out of all our uses, one still has her tags, both of them one in each ear. None of the others kept their tags more than about a year.

Come visit me at http://NoNAIS a blog I created to help fight against this nonsense.

Deanna said...

I'm just horrified that it's so cold, the ink freezes in the pen. I've always lived in Texas, but mom wants to move to Michigan. That kind of cold is scary.