Coded Wire Tags are tiny, and because they are usually injected into cartilage or muscle below the skin, they are rarely visible. However, their presence can be electronically detected using Coded Wire Tag detectors.
When do you need a detector?
Detectors are used at four stages in most Coded Wire Tag projects:
- During tagging, you won’t be able to see if a tag has been injected, so you will need a detector to verify successful implantation. If you are using a Mark IV Injector, a common choice is to pair it with the Quality Control Device to verify tag injection. However, this can also be done using a V-Detector or Wand.
- After tagging, but before release, you will need a detector to measure tag retention rates. A V-Detector is an excellent tool for this, and a wand detector can also be a good choice.
- At recapture, you will need a detector to sort tagged and untagged animals unless they can be distinguished by a secondary tag or mark (eg a fin clip). The most suitable detector depends on the application. Tunnel detectors are a good choice for high volume sorting such as at hatcheries or processing plants. The T-Wand detectors is rugged and portable for field sampling. In some cases, it can be used to identify the specific body location of a tag when the body location is used as a batch code. V-Detectors are a good choice when they can be placed on a stable surface.
- Once tagged animals have been identified, you will need a Coded Wire Tag detector during the dissection process to quickly locate and remove tags. A V-Detector is the preferred tool for this job.