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Should I Microchip my mare?

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  • Should I Microchip my mare?

    Has anyone had a horse that was lost/stolen and recovered via a microchip? Do auctions regularly scan horses to see if they have a chip? If I should get one for my mare, which brand should I buy?

    I have HomeAgain in both of my dogs and it brought them home once, so I'm wondering if this is a good idea for the horse.

    When I was younger, we had a shetland stud pastured with a QH gelding, and the kids went out and both were gone and truck tire tracks in the field.. They were found in the next town, thank goodness.

    But I am now in an area that has an auction where some buyers haul horses to Mexico. If that happened, she'd never make it home.
    Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

  • #2
    I'm curious about microchip use too.
    My mare has one, supposedly, but I've never had it scanned or anything
    Where do they put them in?

    All of our cats have them as they go outside.
    I don't think anyone else in my barn has one, and I wouldn't have got one if she didn't already have it. Doesn't seem necessary for my horse in our situation


    • #3
      The clinic I work at uses the HomeAgain microchips when we chip horses. I'm not sure how widespread microchip scanning at auctions is, maybe someone with auction experience can chime in on that.

      If you do have her microchipped, just be aware that chips can migrate, (although the HomeAgain is supposed to prevent that) so make sure they scan a wide area if (heaven forbid) she is ever lost.

      The process itself is super quick and easy, we just clip a small area on the crest about 1/2 way down the neck (it goes in the nuchal ligament) prep it, block it so the horse doesn't feel it, then put the chip in.

      ETA: I'm not aware of anyone who has recovered a horse that way, but horse theft is fairly rare in our area. It would be helpful to prove ownership in the case of a natural disaster or if the horse gets lost during a trail ride far from home.


      • #4
        I doubt the chip would help much, unless the horse was stolen and found and you needed to prove ownership.

        Horses at auction are covered in identifying info (brands, freeze brands, tattoos, etc). I don't see any reason for them to follow-up on every single horse to look at ownership, UNLESS there was an APB out for a horse with a particular description, then perhaps they'd scan horses that looked similar. If they had the compatible equipment. And assuming the chip showed up (every once in a while they don't scan). There isn't reason to assume any horse is stolen because it has a microchip. Anything and everything ends up at auction.
        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


        • #5
          I have mine microchipped just in case. They've been predicting an earthquake in my area for years, so just in case anything happens and my horses are loose, I'd like to take every step possible to get them back to me.
          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


          • #6
            It won't hurt to do it, and it just might help you prove ownership if that's ever needed. It can be hard even for a horse person to identify a given horse that has no readily distinguished markings, much less a non-horsey person.

            And I suspect that it could more easily be accepted as a legitimate claim meriting a second look by your local law enforcement officers on the spot, rather than being dismissed out of hand, should a disagreement arise over ownership.

            But I highly doubt the auction would scan and even more doubtful that they would look for the chip's owner. If a horse ends up at auction, it's generally assumed that whoever consigns her to the sale is the rightful owner.
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            • #7
              One of mine is chipped. Haven't gotten around to doing the other one! I did them myself--took less than a minute and didn't bother them at all. Very little down side, IMO.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                Ny 2 horses are microchipped. I had Cloudy chipped when I bought him a dozen years ago down in FL. Vet used home again. When I got Hattie in 2011, the vet here used....homeagain. Apparently it's a good company and the chip readers can read it. (vet said some companies' chips are incompatible with some readers.)

                I know of several dogs who were reunited with their owners when chipped. One of the good stories was a dog, stolen or lost in NYC 7 yrs before being turned in over at Fort Stewart to be euth-ed when its owner was deployed. The dog was scanned, and reunited with the once-little-girl now teenager who owned him in NYC. Was all over the tv stations down here in GA.

                You have to give notice when you change address or phone #. Chip goes in the crest. And do use a local when putting it in. Cloudy was needle shy for years because the vet in FL did not use a local and got the chip too low at first.

                Before chips, I had all my dogs and cats tattooed on their stomaches with my GA DLN and the words "reward." Dogs in Atlanta were stolen and sold for $50 to Emory med school for use by med students. I wanted anyone who flipped my dogs over to see that info. Any law enforcement agency can find a person by running a driver's license through NCIC.

                The chips are a lot easier than tattooing. And here's a hint: while a dog's stomach is hairless, mostly, a shaved cat's stomach will regrow hair, making the tattooing hard to read without shaving. Fortunately none of my dogs or cats was stolen.


                • #9
                  It can't hurt and may help should the worst happen.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    My horse was done by my vet, but I purchased the chip thru NetPosse. Chip is registered by Avid microchip. I believe it was done on left side of neck, midway down neck.


                    • #11
                      Not that expensive and when the need arises, it's there!!
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                      • #12
                        All of my animals (including the horse) are chipped. I had him chipped when I lived in a hurricane prone area. I figured it would help ID him in the event of an emergency, even though he's already breed branded.

                        I now live in a fire-prone area and I'm glad he has it. The FD will herd horses into trailers then scan them once their relocated. It would be a very easy way for someone to get in contact with me.
                        Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                        My equine soulmate
                        Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                        • #13
                          I had my pony and mini microchipped as they had a habit of wandering. Fortunately only a couple of times and not far from home. I have both of my boys chipped now, mostly for ID purposes. Remy is brown with no markings and would be hard to prove ownership otherwise if I needed to.


                          • #14
                            I might be more inclined to go with something more visible, like freeze-branding given the area you're describing.

                            I would also have some major-league chains and locks on the gates, and some large, vigilant dogs.


                            • #15
                              microchipping is legally required in Louisiana to obtain a Coggin's test (so therefore almost all horses down here are microchipped). It has been explained to me that this law helped find the homes of almost all horses that got loose during Hurricane Katrina.
                              But I never did it until I moved down here, as it was never a big concern of mine.


                              • #16
                                I had my mare microchipped after a bad wildfire season here a few years ago. To me it is cheap insurance that she can be positively identified as mine.