Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ear Tag Placement

For maximum retention and the lowest risk of bleeding and infection, place ear tags in either of the two spots. (One piece loop tags only fit in the lower spot.) The goal is about 2" from the head of the sheep.

The opposite extreme (installing too far from the skull) will result in more lost tags as the tissue on the tip of the ear is tender and tears easily.

Be careful to avoid the large vein (shown above).

Be aware of the season time of year. In warmer months, tags should be treated with an anti-septic and a fly repellant (such as Catron IV or Pine Tar). We prefer Catron IV as it is long lasting, very effective and does not stain the tag. 

For How-To videos for each type of sheep tag, Premier has a series of videos available on our homepage.

Tag selection:
This year we are inserting Q-Flex 1.5 tags into our lambs. They're a larger than Snapp or Swivel tags but smaller than most of our EasyTags. For lambs we prefer smaller tags (less likely to weigh down their young ears). For stock that we keep back, we insert larger tags such as the Q-Flex 3 or 5. Their ears can handle the larger tag and the numbers (printer larger) are far easier to read.

In our catalogs and on the website, tag colors are arranged by readability of the imprinting.

When cutting out old tags (when you switch from small to large tags), a pair of hoof trimmers easily trump a jack knife. The old hole can be reused for the new tag.