tagging and tattooing calves

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Farmgirl
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tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Farmgirl » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:08 am

When do you tag and tattoo your calves? We have tattooed ours in the past but usually waited until weaning. Never tagged but considering it. Any problems with tags pulling out (ripping tender ears)? Sure would help to identify calves though.

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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby callmefence » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:14 am

If I find em newborn where I can catch em they get tagged right then. If I dont find them till their a couple of days old and hard to catch. I tag the first opportunity i get. Sometimes a few months. I keep a ammo can in every truck with tags markers and pliers.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:16 am

I tattoo at weaning. Tag heifers at breeding. Do not tag bulls per my arrangement with how my bulls are sold.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:17 am

callmefence wrote:If I find em newborn where I can catch em they get tagged right then. If I dont find them till their a couple of days old and hard to catch. I tag the first opportunity i get. Sometimes a few months. I keep a ammo can in every truck with tags markers and pliers.


Just noticed your new signature line. Lol
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby bball » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:04 am

Tag them, navel spray, inforce 3, multimin and band in first 24 hours. Just watch those protective mothers.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby dun » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:19 am

Tag at birth or first work up, tattoo at weaning
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby TCRanch » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:39 am

Tag, naval spray, First Defense at birth. Vet tattoos replacement heifers when he BANGS/pelvic measures @ appx 11 months. Tags rarely get ripped out but it does happen.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Ky hills » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:23 pm

I prefer to tag them at birth, but if I can't get them within that first day, then I wait until the first working. It makes for much easier management and record keeping to tag them soon after birth, later on it is nearly impossible to get them in numbered in the right order. When I dealt with registered cattle, we usually tattooed them at the first working or weaning.
When tagging the newborn calves, ripped ears can happen, I try to be careful each time, and have used several different taggers, but still happens on occasion.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:35 pm

We tag a.s.a.p. because in the past the longer we've waited the more opportunity for dumb mistakes.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby cowgirl8 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:17 am

We don't do any of it until we're sure we want to keep them.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby slick4591 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:23 am

Everything is tagged at birth or as soon afterwards as possible. I tattoo when I work them all, which normally seems to be before weaning.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:47 am

Tag, naval dip/spray, weigh, Multimin, Vit A&D, castrate if needed, and will be starting to use Inforce III at birth. Tattoo at about 3 months of age at first work up. Never had an ear torn. I use the full size ExtraLarge tags.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Katpau » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:23 pm

We weigh and tag every calf at birth. My number one quality when picking replacements is I that I must be happy with her mother. If I don’t like the cow, I will not keep a daughter. If you don’t tag them until weaning or after selecting them as replacements, you are giving up an immense amount of information about them. There are things like udder quality that you won’t see until they calve, but knowing their dam will give you a big hint. I suppose in a small herd you may know them all without the tag, but there is always some possibility for a mix-up. My herd is all black and without tags I would not know who went with who. I mark the bull number on the tag above the calves number and I put the cow's number down below. That makes it easier when sorting pairs into different pastures. Cows all calve in the same pasture, but when I put bulls out I separate them. I use the tags to make sure the calf and cow end up together and also to avoid putting a cow with her father. (Unless I intended to) This also makes it easier to see if one bull had superior calves.

We calve out on about a 40 acre pasture in February and March. We are feeding hay at that time of year. We check cows twice a day while calving. I throw out hay for the main herd and see who does not come up. The ones with the newborn calves will almost always be missing. We take a flake of alfalfa with us and go on the hunt. When we find the new Mother, we give her a flake of hay and then weigh and tag her calf. We use to have cows that were aggressive or would run off with their calves. Those were a challenge, but I have eliminated the more aggressive cows. If you can get to the calves before they are more than a few hours old they are easy to catch. We occasionally have a runner in the morning, but nothing we can’t catch.

I tatoo the replacements at weaning. The rest are sold to my regular buyer and are branded with his brand at delivery.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Katpau » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:37 pm

I tag the calves with a full size Z-tag. They remain in the ear of my replacements their whole life. Although now and then one will catch on something and pull free, it is extremely rare to lose one. I just replace them the next time I catch them. If I don't recognize the cow and I don't find the tag I can check the tatoo in her ear or do an inventory to figure out who in that group does not have a tag. I have 17 year old cows with their original Z-tag.
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Re: tagging and tattooing calves

Postby Bullitt » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:58 pm

Farmgirl wrote:When do you tag and tattoo your calves? We have tattooed ours in the past but usually waited until weaning. Never tagged but considering it. Any problems with tags pulling out (ripping tender ears)? Sure would help to identify calves though.

Thanks,
Farmgirl



If you start ear tagging calves at birth you are creating a lot more work for yourself. It may be okay if you only have a few cattle.

You have been doing just fine without ear tags at birth, so why do you want to do it now?

Here is an article that explains that few cattle producers need to tag ears at birth. He also explains that it reduces profits by focusing on the wrong things.

https://onpasture.com/2016/06/06/dont-e ... rn-calves/

A registered seed-stock breeder may need birth weight information at calving time. Commercial cattle producers do not need that information.
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