Tagging new calves

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Highpoint
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Tagging new calves

Postby Highpoint » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:05 am

My name should have been the caregiver instead high point We now have six calves and only three are tagged thanks to the cow hand. This is my first year and I have wondered why the tags. Right now it is impossible to tell who is exactly the mom of two of them because two nurse the same cow. Can you share with this newby why this is so important.

I'm hoping no question is too stupid.
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Son of Butch
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:49 am

It's only important if it's important to you.
We tag all, including all the feeders we buy for ease of identification and record keeping.
Otherwise tracking who was treated or pulling for treatment or even just sorting is so very difficult.

If you only have a dozen it should be easy to identify them from memory, but apparently you already can't tell them apart.
Maybe if you get a scale you could identify them by size
ie the Red calf is 200 lbs heavier than the Black calf. :)
Last edited by Son of Butch on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Nesikep
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Nesikep » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:51 am

Mostly because if you have good calves, you want to know which cow raised them so you keep her heifers.. Likewise for the one that doesn't raise good calves, you can get rid of her... Doesn't need to be anything fancy, you can go a bit smaller than the "Maxi" size tags.. It's just recordkeeping... and being able to indicate to someone else what cow you're referring to... If they are all black, how are you going to tell someone to get "Bessie"... a tag fixes that problem.. get #32
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby TCRanch » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:19 am

No question is too stupid. And I agree with the above. We tag all calves day 1 or 2 when they're still easy to catch for proper identification and diligent tracking/record keeping. If it's important to you have you conveyed that to your cowhand?
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby backhoeboogie » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:49 am

Some fool runs off the road, drives thru your fence, you have to round up cows and calves at 3 a.m. How do you know if you have the paired back up without tags ? How do you know who is missing ?

Like said above, You have a calf that doesn't grow out as good as it should, how do you know which cow is not providing ?

You're working cows and you can't get the one calf in the pen, how do you know which calf has not been inoculated ?

You have a cow calving every 11 months, and you want to keep her genetics. How do you know which calf is hers ?

You keep 15 heifers each year and 12 years from now you have to cull 20. How do you know which ones are the oldest ?

Somebody comes out to buy 10 pair and start asking about the age of each cow, how do you know how old she is if she's not tagged and recorded ?

I could go on and on. Plus what has already been said above. The older you get the worse your memory gets. Identification and records become valuable.
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby callmefence » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:22 am

I'll tag calves with a orange tag that has my phone# when it's possible. If I find the calf still wet it gets tagged then. If it's several days old it won't get tagged sometimes until it's several months old. If I know the dam her # gets put on the back of tag.
When we start bringing calves in to be worked.
They get a white tag in the other ear with a simple# beginning with one. This simply means that calf has been worked. And makes it easy to monitor a calf where a problem has been noted.
Any calves that I end up liking enough to keep will eventually get the white tag replaced with a orange tag and a # that corresponds with the dams #.
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Son of Butch
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:39 am

We tag 1st number month born, last digit year of birth ie 17 = 7
I just assume in 2019 I will be able to tell a 13 yr old 2006 model from a 2016 at a glance.
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Farm Fence Solutions » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:48 am

Y'all need a little longhorn influence in your herds. They tag themselves.
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby dun » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:49 am

We just put a small number tag in when first tagged. We keep a list that matches calf tag to a specific cow. If they will be kept as replacements they get a tag with their own ID at weaning. The smaller tags get reused year after year. Steers/bulls right ear, heifers left ear.
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Workinonit Farm » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:54 am

As has been stated above, my cows and calves are tagged for ID purposes for the record keeping. This way I know who belongs to who, vaccination record, de-worming, fly control etc. I tag mine as close to birth as possible, and I will band any bull calves at that time as well.

When I get them penned up for weaning, sales, working etc. I know which one is which and what needs to be done for/with it.
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby TCRanch » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:45 am

dun wrote:We just put a small number tag in when first tagged. We keep a list that matches calf tag to a specific cow. If they will be kept as replacements they get a tag with their own ID at weaning. The smaller tags get reused year after year. Steers/bulls right ear, heifers left ear.


Thought I was the only one that did that. Around here most just grab/tag whatever ear is convenient.
Their number is on the front, the back has our ranch initials, date of birth, number and name (yes, I name 'em all; don't judge).
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby farmerjan » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:45 am

We tag bulls with yellow or orange and heifers get green for my son's and white if they are from my cows. Since having the joint issues, they will just get a number if they aren't tagged until we get them in at about 6-10 weeks, then I will match the calf to the cow then when it comes time to wean, the ones we keep as replacements will get a number correlated to the dam. We start with the year and go up...17-1 and up. We have 2 friends that buy feeders and they take the tags out and replace with their own set of numbers so we get back all sorts of tags. I wash them and reuse. One year I had a ton of blue tags so all bulls/steers got blue. We work the calves at about 6-10 weeks, blackleg, and usually put all calves of the same sex at a pasture so that when it comes time to gather up and sell, we have all one sex to go. Sometimes when we want a certain cow to go with a certain bull then we have mixed sexes of calves at the same pasture. But agree with all the others.... tags are important for any kind of record keeping. All the farmers in the area know that our adult cows have green or white tags, in at least one ear even if sometimes they still have the tag of another color if they were bought. Had a guy call the other day and said he had 6 cows and a calf in his catch pen, didn't think they were ours since they had red tags but wanted me to go by and make sure since they couldn't find anyone else.....they weren't ours, but..... just having the tags gave us a way to say definitely yes or definitely no....
I keep the records and it makes it easier to just look up when they have a tag, and YES some of ours have names too....
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Nesikep » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:52 am

Steers here don't get a tag, but they do get the (required) RFID button, Heifers get a tag and the button.
I usually do it at a couple days old, or earlier if they're particularly feisty
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Son of Butch
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:26 pm

Bought a bred cow that ate snow for the better part of a week before figuring out the ball waterer.
Named her Dumbo. Then her first calf Dumbbell and the next Dim Wit.

Years ago a little neighbor girl had a nearly pure white holstein bull calf she named Snowball.
Then her brothers steered him and she changed his name to No Balls saying and its maiden name was Snowball.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Tagging new calves

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:23 pm

Ironic - I tag all male calves in right ear (yellow tags) and females in left ear (red tags). All have a number related to dams' number plus the year letter (2017 is E).
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