The Ins & Outs of Livestock Registration

Discover the significant advantages of maintaining registrations for your farm animals, like increasing their value and protecting your hard work.

A registered American Milking Devon raised at Honey Hill Hiertage Devons, located in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Photo by Courtesy Victoria Reck Ames.

Should you really do all the work involved in registering your livestock? All the applications, fees, tagging, and more can seem unnecessary and time-consuming, especially if the majority of your animals are destined for the freezer. But there are advantages to maintaining a registered herd, even on a small scale.

Why You Should Register

Registering livestock can, in many cases, increase an animal’s value. Prospective buyers will often pay more for livestock with registration papers. Not only do the papers prove that the animal is indeed a member of a specific breed, but they can also give the new owner some idea of what to expect in terms of performance. In addition, it shows that you value your animals.

Certain sires and dams in every breed have reputations — sometimes good and sometimes bad. Finding certain names in a pedigree can prepare the new owner for not only what the animal is capable of, but what abilities his or her offspring could likely inherit.

For example, the American Quarter Horse is a breed that can shine at a variety of different jobs, but a horse with parents that excel in cattle and ranch work will be more likely to do well at that job than one with different bloodlines. Not that any horse can’t be trained to do well at those jobs, but having parents that excelled at the type of work you expect from your new horse will give you a greater degree of confidence that the animal should be able to perform well.

A purebred Quarter Horse mare and her foal grazing leisurely. Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto.

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