Applying ear tags

Southdown

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I have my Scrapies ear tags and I am ready to put them on my lambs. This is my first time applying ear tags, so I am a little nervous about it. There is not much information on the internet on how to properly do this. I found a picture on premier's website, which just showed not to pierce in the middle where the vein is. We flashed a flashlight through the ears and I do not see a vein. I am planning on piercing above the midline and close to the head. I don't want to pierce close to the tip or the ear will droop. Is there going to be bleeding? Also, you just dip the tags in rubbing alcohol first?
 

Remuda1

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I've been wondering the same myself. Also at what age do you tag? All I know about the placement is that it needs to be away from the edge of the ear, closer to the center.... In order to minimize the chance of it getting ripped out easily.

Looking forward to seeing the responses to your questions.
 

Four Winds Ranch

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I don't think it matters on the age you decide to tag. If the tags are really big or heavy, maybe not tag the newborns with them!
I haven't ever used the Scrapies ear tags, but my lambs get the clip tag at around three days old, the same time as they are banded. and the CSEI tag and regular identification tags at around 4 months.
Small lambs don't seem to have much of a vein running through their ears yet, so there is less chance of it bleeding. Usually, I tag just below the midline and about halfway between the tip and head. If your tags are the loop variety, you will want to leave a bit of extra room for the ear to grow.
I believe it is personal choice on where on the ear you wish to tag, some kinds of tags specify, but most don't.
Most of the time there is no blood at all, but if they are a bit older and you do hit a vein, never fear, it may look ugly but the sheep should be fine! I have never had a problem come up because of tagging, and I have never dipped them in rubbing alcohol!
Good luck! :thumbsup
 

Remuda1

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Another interesting thing I thought about is that the man that I bought my registered sheep from tagged all of the ewes in the right ear and all of the rams in the left. Made it a lot easier to distinguish them out in the pasture.
 

purplequeenvt

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Sheep have three raised hard lines in their ears (I assume it's cartilage, but I'm not sure). I place the tag between the middle and bottom line. I like to put tags a little closer to the head because I feel that the tag will be harder to rip out there.

The black show where the lines are and the red shows approx. where I place the tag.


We tag our lambs when they are between 24 hours and a couple days, but it doesn't matter. We use a small skinny rectangular tag as a lamb tag.





When they are older we switch out their lamb tag for a scrapie tag. We use the scrapie tag as our farm tag. I don't like tons of tags on them.





We put tags in the right for males and left for females.

Tagging for the 1st time can be very intimidating! Don't worry! You can do it!
 

Southdown

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I understand your picture and it is very helpful. I see the three prominent lines of cartilage on my lambs ears. I think I am going to tag above the middle line instead. Our scrapies tags are a big triangle. Looking at my scrapies tags, the plastic post that actually goes through the ear has a large diameter. It seems like that would hurt. That picture is very good, thanks! Well, I will be giving it a go either tomorrow after work or Sat. morning.
 

kfacres

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Southdown said:
I understand your picture and it is very helpful. I see the three prominent lines of cartilage on my lambs ears. I think I am going to tag above the middle line instead. Our scrapies tags are a big triangle. Looking at my scrapies tags, the plastic post that actually goes through the ear has a large diameter. It seems like that would hurt. That picture is very good, thanks! Well, I will be giving it a go either tomorrow after work or Sat. morning.
that cartilage.. is the vein... hit that-- and you'll get blood and a wrinkled ear.
 

Southdown

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Only one bled, it was my favorite ewe lamb in the top photo. I'm not sure why because I did the same spot on everyone. I went in between the middle and top cartilage line and close to the head. It looks as good as I can do. My first one I did was not as close to the head as I wanted, but he is a Suffolk cross and has bigger ears anyway.
 

Cornish Heritage

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Another interesting thing I thought about is that the man that I bought my registered sheep from tagged all of the ewes in the right ear and all of the rams in the left. Made it a lot easier to distinguish them out in the pasture.
That's a good idea! We should have thought of that this year!

that cartilage.. is the vein... hit that-- and you'll get blood and a wrinkled ear.
KFAcres is right - those are veins. We tag within 24 hours of birth most times within a few hours after birth so we know exactly who belongs to who. The ear drops a little but seems to perk as they grow older. It is best to go in the middle of the ear as the tag has less chance of pulling out.

It's just like getting your ears pierced - stings for a few minutes but then is fine.

Not sure of the laws in other states but here in Missouri, the sheep only need a Scrapie tag if they are leaving the farm so the sheep we keep back for breeding on the farm here do not need them.

Liz
 

Southdown

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I'd rather not tag the ears, but in order to have the babydolls registered they are required to have an ear tag. The ewe that I tagged closest to the head looks good, but I'm not happy with Chloe's ear. It's drooping just a little. I hope her ears get bigger and it perks up. The Suffolk cross I did doesn't look close enough to the head either and it is drooping too. I could have went between the middle and lower veins, but then the plastic tag would have been hanging lower than the ear itself and I don't like that. That's why I went between the middle and uppermost veins, so the tag would stay within the shape of the ear. Yes, I'm being picky but I really don't care for the look of it. We only have to put scrapies tags in if they are leaving the farm (i.e. being sold) OR if I want to register my babydolls. It really does take away from their looks. Oh well, at least the wethers don't have to be tagged, just the ewes and rams.
 
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