Animal identification has been around for a really long time. If you have a pet, you have likely purchased a collar and tag for your new puppy or kitty (unless of course it’s a pet snake or tortoise). Similarly, we use ear tags to identify our cattle immediately. Ear tags are flat, mostly plastic or metallic objects of various colors that are connected to the ears of cattle, sheep, goats or more to identify them in a large herd.

 Ear-tags help us to keep track and record information such as;

  • gender,
  • age,
  • weight
  •  when a cow last calved,
  •  number of calves she has had, etc.
  • Vaccinations received and other clinical records.


When it comes to the color of tag producer’s use, there is great significance. Not only is the color important, but the ear that is tagged can also have significant meaning. Each farm can decide on their own method for identifying their cows.

For example, a rancher may decide that an orange tag signifies a heifer while a yellow tag signifies a steer, or left ear signifies male while right signifies female. Many combinations can be established with a multitude of meanings. The color and ear choice rely solely on the producer’s preferences, however when a choice has been made it is best to stick with it throughout each herd owned.


There are three important tools to use when placing an ear tag; the applicator, stud, and button. Knowing how to properly use these components will aid in avoiding complications. When applying a tag, reduced head movement will aid in assuring that the tag is placed in the correct position. Management of the applicator is also important, and one must know how to properly use and clean this tool.


Another identification tool is appointing a number to every animal. In numerous tasks, there is just a number on each tag. However, sire, dam, and date of birth can likewise be added. Numbers are given to assist with steers stock and are vital for recording information for various conditions. With more established dairy animals, it can assist with recognizing the rough rearing date, calving date, wellbeing and clinical records, calving history, and perhaps which field she is found. Numbers are utilized on calves to recognize which bovine it has a place with, date of birth, inoculations, and some other concerns. It is essential to name plainly and to compose the creatures distinguishing proof data as extensive as could be expected under the circumstances with the goal that it tends to be seen from afar. When composing on a label make certain to utilize an assigned labeling marker as the normal markers blur with time and become hard to peruse.

When a cow or calf has been picked, colors are picked, and the identification information is on the label the time has come to begin the process. If set mistakenly, a tag might cause issues, therefore area is significant. The ideal area to put an ear tag is in the middle one third of the ear. The area should be between the “ribs” of the ear. On the off chance that a tag is set excessively far towards within the ear it will fit firmly because of the presence of thicker ligament. This may likewise cause necrosis, the demise of cells in the tissue, or sloughing tissue which is the shedding of dead cells. Labels put excessively far to the outside of the ear have the likelihood to be caught or torn out. Legitimate label arrangement is additionally essential to lessen the danger of disease.

The advent of technology has brought along numerous shifts of how we work in most industries around the world, if not all. Farming is no exception. Now with electronic ear-tags, animals can be tracked in real-time for location, disease and more.