Herd Management Numbering Systems- Keep It Simple
Tagging Cows- Since these animals are breeding stock and kept for years, use Large size ear tags and have tags imprinted by the manufacturer so that the numbers last. Only write on tags for animals that will be in the field for less than 2 years as tag ink markers fade quickly. Use numbers 1 thru # in herd. Keep the end number the number of cows you own.
Tagging Bulls – Can use a different color Large Ear Tag for bulls. Use numbers 1 through number of bulls in herd.
Tagging Calves – Since these animals will often be sold off or re-tagged if kept for breeding, use calf size ear tags. Have 2 sets of calf tags number 1 through 100 to match your cows.
If I have 100 cows and 2 bulls in my herd
I would have large pink tags numbered 1 through 100 for the Cows.
I would have large blue tags numbered 1 & 2 for the Bulls
I would have medium calf size tags numbered 1 through 100 with 2 sets of each # ready for calving season. You can use colors for gender if you want. One set of pink 1 through 100 and one set of blue 1 through 100.
As the calves are born, I would tag the calf with the same number as the cow, Mom is #51 calf gets #51
I would keep 2 sets of each number on hand in case I needed a back up for a lost tag or a cow has twins.
At the end of the year I would cut off the medium size calf tag with a tag removal knife and store to reuse for next year, buying a bag of new buttons to apply the tag with during calving season.
I would replace the keeper calf with a Large size ear tag adding to my current numbering system, #101 in pink for a cow and #3 in blue for a bull.
If I wanted to advertise my ranch I would use custom ear tags with my ranch name and phone number on the Cows, Bulls, and Calves tags and leave the tags in the animals and replace these tags each year.
Put visual tags in right ear.
You can use two visual tags. Double tag in case of loss of ear tags or 1 tag has the management number and one tag has Ranch name/Rancher name, phone number, city, state, etc.
If you sell the animal keep the numbered ear tag and let the custom tag go with the livestock for advertising.
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