Monday, August 19, 2013

Goat Ear Tagging - Early Experiences

Our initial herd of goats had been quarantined for about 2 week before we introduced them into our 'general population'. Simply put, we wanted to complete the health screening, de-worming and vaccination process before we let the goats share quarters with our sheep herds. While these two ruminants  share the same stall shed structure, we do not plan to have them co-habitate. As part of our acquisition process, we had planned to secure insurance as well but unfortunately could not make much progress. There was surprising resistance to insurance of goat operations. More about our insurance agency experiences later..

At Savera Farms, we are attempting to document the full lifecycle of each animal - from lineage, to birth, health records and final disposition. To begin this activity, we started with the tagging process. All our animals have now been tagged and detailed information on vaccinations, weight increase, kidding and lineage has been recorded. Our current record keeping is primarily Excel automation but we would like to grow into a process driven (animal) record management software - your recommendations based on past experience would be helpful! While at our end, such cadence allows us to enforces adequate structure and consistent maintenance, we also feel potential customers would appreciate detailed backgrounds on animals they wish to procure - both for breeding or meat harvesting.

The first batch of goats were given PPR (Peste-Des-Petes ruminants) vaccination. 3 weeks later they were injected with ETV (Enterotoxaemia).

                                          Ouch! It is a tad painful for a couple of moments..

And a few exhibited their athletic skills as well..

Tagged for good and for life...


Here are a few recommendations that we thought of sharing and those with deeper experience can add to this list. Happy tagging and may your brood grow! :)
  • Tags should be placed on either ear but on the same ear for each animal of the herd.
  • Ensure you use the correct tag type based on the animal and breed. There are several tag designs available based on animal and desired functionality.
  • Once the staff is comfortable, it is best to straddle the young animal from on top, restrain between your legs and tag the ear. This may not be always possible for large animals.
  • Preferred tag location is about 2/3 distance on the ear from the head. The cartilage is less in the area and damage to blood vessels can be prevented. 
  • Immediately, apply mild anti-septic at tag site to prevent infection. Always disinfect the tagging tool between animals.
  • Tagging should occur during cool weather and comfortable surroundings so the animals can rapidly recover. 
  • Avoid tagging sick animals since their recovery could be prolonged and healthy animals may be infected during the process.

1 comment:

  1. Constructive, practical though non-innovative idea - use variously coloured and numbered neck tags or collar tags as animal identification as an alternative to ear tags. Causes no pain and you can identify them from a distance.

    I call this 'non-innovative' as tribesmen have used a similar idea - cowbells - since millennia for cattle identification (as in, whose herd is this).

    Modern RFID version: http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?10666

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