Until the end of 2005, the CHBA utilized ID microchips containing a series of 10 different numbers and letters. These are special FDX-A chips that are not able to be read by all scanners, so for those of you with older horses, the typical scanner that either you or your vet may own, may not be able to read this type of chip.
It has been our experience that some vet clinics do have higher end “universal” scanners that are able to read these older types of chips, however most of the inexpensive modern type scanners available now, cannot read them.
If you have a horse that you believe was born prior to 2006 and you want to read its microchip, you may be able to borrow a scanner that can read this older type of chip from the CHBA. Or you can inquire with your vet as to whether they have a universal scanner which reads both types.
From 2006 on, the microchips utilized by the CHBA were switched to having IDs consisting only of a string of 15 numbers (and no letters), called an ISO or FDX-B chip. This is the type of chip that most of the modern inexpensive types of readers can read.
These inexpensive ISO type chip readers can be purchased for about $50 off of Amazon. This photo shows one that we recently purchased.
Generally the microchips should be located on the left neck, about midway between the poll and the withers, about 1 1/2” down from the crest or nuchal ligament as seen in the diagram below (chip located under where the scanner is).
However it has been our experience that the chips can be found ALL over the neck, from 6-8” down from the crest, and all over ranging from just below the ears to right near the withers. Have even heard of folks finding them on the right side of the neck or elsewhere on the body (in rare cases they can migrate!).
So the moral of the story – make sure that you obtain the type of scanner appropriate for the estimated age of your horse. And scan your horse ALL over. Not just in the typically expected vicinity on the left neck!
Submitted by Yvonne Hillsden, Cherry Creek Canadians