Little Bo Peep with a Star Wars lightsaber
MANY years ago when I was a callow youth, a young lady who hailed from south of the Border asked me if there were any horse events in my area.
Poor innocent that I was, I said my neck of the woods was pretty uncontaminated by horses, and as far as I knew there wasn’t much of a horsey culture in the area.
However, as the young lady who went on to become Mrs Henderson later found out, you can hardly move round here without walking straight into one sort of equine event or another – and while it wasn’t any sort of secret society, I simply moved in different circles and was blissfully unaware of them.
I mention this because, having started trying to track down some information on the electronic ear tag readers which might save me losing my eyesight and sanity reading the 14-digit numbers on each and every sheep’s ear tag, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m missing a similar parallel universe on this front.
I’ve tried all the usual suspects I can think of to get an idiot’s guide to what to look for when buying one of these hand-held readers – which look a bit like Darth Vader’s lightsaber.
I suspect that there are dozens of people out there who would be willing to talk me through the many options for reading these electronic tags, some of which are reasonably cheap, some very expensive.
My family often criticises me for spending weeks researching things to death before I finally take the plunge and buy something, but I just don’t want to buy the wrong thing.
Especially so when anyone exhibiting Little Bo Peep tendencies these days tends to end up with a large fine for failing to keep the required animal movement records.
It would be easy to buy something which doesn’t do half of what I would want it to do. And it would be just as easy to buy something expensive which does way too much – and which would also probably be too complicated for me to use.
As anyone who has ever stood behind me in the supermarket queue knows to their cost, the old KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) certainly applies to me when it comes to scanning.
You see, whenever I use the self-scan checkout I inevitably spend more time with the poor staff member who has the override key than I would with someone putting the shopping through a normal till.
Somehow I don’t think the sheep would have as much patience!
Ear tags are a necessity, but so difficult to read.