Fattening pigs going to the abattoir need to be tagged whether they are 12 months old or younger.
You can get plastic button tags or metal tags. I have used both.
I usually get my tags from Ketchum http://www.ketchums.co.uk/page3.htm
The tags need your herd number on them which you give when ordering the tags.
I usually use the button tags http://www.ketchums.co.uk/page3content5.htm and tag my piglets when they are about 6-8 weeks. I usually tag then when I wean them from the sows so that I know which piglets come from which sow.
When I got my first order of button tags I got a tagger to tag them with. It is best to tag the piglets with button tags when they are young as it usually takes one to hold the piglet and one to tag and the younger they are the lighter they are! The button tag goes in the centre of the ear, you just have to watch the cartlidge in the ear and the veins.
The metal tags (kurl lock metal tag) http://www.ketchums.co.uk/page3content1.htm are better if you need to tag older pigs that have grown and are too big to lift. I would say that this way of tagging would be easier for you Sue. These tags fit on the edge of the ear so it is best to not use these tags when piglets ears are still growing. We already had a tagger for these tags as we have cattle and the tagger was the same with a different metal part, again you will be able to order the tagger from ketchum.
We prefer not to use these tags until the piglets have grown so that the ears don’t grow and the get squashed up against the tag and then become infected.
These tags are good to put in when the pig is older. You just need to take hold of the ear and tag the pig and you can do this whilst they are eating. You may want to get them used to you touching their ears for a few days before you do this so that they are used to you holding their ear.