Micro Chips.....opinions please !!!!
Hi All !!!
I would like to hear some of your thoughts (pros and cons) on getting your horses micro- chipped. We own 2 horses, a Rocky Mountain and Missouri Fox Trotter, both geldings, and all we do is trail ride; a lot. We do go out of State with them and be gone for a week or two at a time. Is getting them micro-chipped a good idea, or is it "over kill'?? Our horses are both 5 years old, we plan on keeping them for many years; it took us over 4 years to find 'just the right ones,' and spent over $5,000 apiece on them. Are trail horses (rather than show horses) a target for getting stolen?? Our vet is coming out in 2 weeks for Spring Shots, so I need to know for sure by then......
Thank-you for your input on this:-)
Microchips are a wonderful idea. They give a permanent method of identification and don't change over time like tattoos and branding do. We had many issues at the equine hospital trying to read brands when we went to do coggins testing---they can become unreadable with winter coat growth and with age. Microchipping is also less painful for your horse and comes iwth less risk of infection since it is simply a single injection site rather than multiples for a tattoo (and inside the mouth at that--yuck) or larger areas of damaged skin for brands.
Three of my four are microchipped with AVID chips. I bought them thru Stolen Horse International because at that time, SSH got a small contribution back from AVID. That was 2004 so I don't know if they still do.
Ryle stated the pros and I do agree.
The cons are:
1. If your horse gets loose while you are away from home and goes missing, a micro-chip is not readily visible if some unsavory person manages to get their hands on it for the express purpose of running it thru an auction barn for a few dollars.
1.1 Those kinds of auction barns most likely do not have scanners to check every horse (and that is provided their scanner can read the brand name microchip in the horse's neck). Nor do they care.
2. If the horse is found by an honest person, that person doesn't have a scanner (they were $200 when I checked prices in 2004), and many country vets don't have them either.
I would rather find someone that does the Cryogenic <--not sure that's the right word, freeze-brand, that is recognized nationwide. I THNK it is the same methods the Arabian Horse Association recognizes for freeze-branding Arabs.
I am only opposed to the lip tattos because the general population would not think to check the lip of a horse.
That all being said. I personally know of a bay Tennessee Walker that lived three miles from me and got stolen out of his pasture. He has his name "DOG" freeze-branded under his mane. That was over a year ago and the lady hasn't seen the horse since. She did find out who stole him but we live in a Good Ole Boy county where that kind of thing just gets shrugged off. Still-in-all, he has a freeze-brand and he's vanished into thin air.
Again, three of my four are micro-chipped but in reality, nothing is 100% when comes to getting a horse back that's gone missing:?
That was pretty much a "yes, I guess not" answer and probably only added further to the confusion. It's a crap shoot so a person has to do what they feel is best for the environment their horses will be in and pray they don't have to ever fall back on freeze brands, tattos, or micro-chips:-(
Thanks for posting this! I was actually wondering about this recently.
Any idea how much it costs to Microcrip?
My whole yard is locked up so it's unlikely my horse could be stolen, but I don't know what I would do if he was!
Thanks again. :)
Microchipping is relatively inexpensive but you would have to check with your vet on a specific price. This is because vets get charged a price for the microchips based upon how many they order at a time and therefore what one can charge is going to be different from another who may not be able to order as many at a time.
As for the freeze branding---we had tons of issues with illegible freeze brands. It wasn't uncommon to be able to only identify maybe 2-3 characters out of 6 on a freeze brand. So while microchipping isn't easily visible, in proving ownership it is a much more permanent means of identification.
In 2004, I paid $20 each for mine and my vet charged me $10 per horse when he came out to give spring shots.
Welcome to the forum, goin' gaiting.
My thoughts are that micro chips are a great way of identifying a horse IF someone suspects something and can have it checked otherwise, no one may ever know it's there. It would be great if the horse can be tracked with a GPS.
Concerning freeze branding, much the same way that a barking dog may deter a thief from entering your home, the visible brand may deter a horse thief. There are plenty of horses that are not branded so why bother with one that is easily and visibly traced?
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