The Golden Rules of Tagging
With lambing time already upon us, and some of you no doubt in the thick of it already, we thought we would post some useful tagging rules for those who are thinking about tagging little lambs. The same rules apply to bigger sheep too, and are there for the welfare of the animal. As you know, tagging lambs at birth can save a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Roxan tags provide you with a wealth of management opportunities to incorporate into your farm system.
Follow these golden rules to ensure longevity of your tag, and the welfare of your lambs:
1) Make sure the electronic tag goes in the left ear as you look at the sheep from behind. Most marts and abattoirs have readers that could read the tag from either side, but keeping to the system makes the whole process that bit more streamline for everyone else.
2) Make sure the tags are correct for the breed, size and age of the sheep. If you are unsure about any of these, it’s best to get in contact with your tag supplier directly, and lodge any uncertainties with them.
3) When tagging the sheep, make sure there is plenty of room for the ear to grow into the tag. Remember, lambs ears have a tendency to fold over and they will grow a fair amount during their lifetime! You want to make sure the ear is not going to start growing against a tag because it could really cut into the ear! Not comfortable!!
For the best result, tags should usually be inserted about one third the distance away from the head. It’s usually best to tag nearer the edge of the ear so as not to pierce any major cartilage ridges or blood vessels – not to close to the edge as the more overhanging tag means the higher the chance of it snagging on a branch or fence, and potentially tearing out.
4) Whenever possible, try and tag your sheep during cool dry weather. If you’re lambing indoors then that should be the perfect conditions for tagging. Make sure the lambs have plenty of dry, clean straw and have plenty of time to recover after being tagged. DON’T tag them if they are showing signs or illness or are looking particularly weak. Give them a bit of time and space to grow and find their feet first!
5) Make sure all the equipment is clean. You should have a small bucket of disinfectant on hand, just for dunking the tags in before each insertion. If you are using the Roxan TagFaster applicator, dipping each tag strip in disinfectant should be more than enough.
So there you have it, with the tag in place you have saved yourself a bit of time in the future when it comes to loading up the wagon, and you can visually identify the year of the lamb (and even the sire) through out the course of its life. Read our article on changeable pin colours to learn about sire tracing here: