Effects of injection position and transponder size on the performances of passive injectable transponders used for the electronic identification of cattle

C. Conill, G. Caja, R. Nehring, O. Ribó

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    29 Citations (Scopus)


    A total of 686 Tiris half-duplex passive injectable transponders (PIT) of two sizes (23 and 32 mm) were randomly injected s.c. in three positions, armpit, ear scutulum, and upper lip, in 343 fattening calves (1 to 3 mo old). Injections were performed by two trained and two untrained operators. Losses and breakages on the farm were recorded at wk 1, 3 , 7, 11, and 15 in restrained animals using two types of hand-held transceivers with a stick antenna. Dynamic reading efficiency (DRE) in animals running through a raceway was also evaluated at wk 1 and 3 and monthly until slaughter, using a stationary transceiver working at 137 dB·μV·m-1 at 3 m. The total number of PIT that fell or broke in the slaughtering line, the location method, and the recovery time were also recorded. Results on the farm showed low breakages on average (0.4%) and differences (P < 0.05) in losses according to position (armpit, 1.7%; ear, 5.2%; and lip, 14.0%). An interaction (P < 0.05) between position x size was observed, and losses were greatest using a 32-mm PIT in the lip. The DRE was affected (P < 0.05) by PIT position and size, and values were greater for the 32-mm PIT in all positions (armpit: 99.9 ± 0.1 vs 95.8 ± 4.9%; ear: 93.8 ± 2.2 vs 81.9 ± 4.6%; lip: 66.8 ± 4.9 vs 53.4 ± 4.7%, respectively, for 32 vs 23 mm). Recovery of PIT in the abattoir was on average 96.7, 96.7, and 99.2% for armpit, ear, and lip, respectively (P > 0.05). Most of the PIT injected in the armpit were recovered by sight or palpation, but 31.9% were recovered after cutting the muscles around the area and 10.7% were recovered on the internal side of the hide, which jeopardized carcass identification. Recovery of PIT injected in the ear was 23.4% in the hide and 76.6% in the auricular muscles of the head. The easiest recovery was in the lip, 8.9% of PIT were located in the hide and 91.1% in the head. Recovery time was affected (P < 0.05) by position: the quickest was lip (27 ± 2 s), followed by ear (52 ± 5 s) and armpit (78 ± 7 s). In conclusion, taking into account retention and reading performances, injection of a 32-mm PIT into the armpit showed the best results on the farm, but a careful and longer recovery was needed in the abattoir. Improvement of recovery methodology and time would be necessary in order to recommend injection of PIT in the armpit instead of in the ear for cattle tracking or monitoring.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3001-3009
    JournalJournal of Animal Science
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


    • Cattle
    • Identification
    • Injection
    • Tracking
    • Transponders


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