Livestock Tag Technical Information

A lot goes into the design of our tags, here we will deal with the technical points regarding our Enduro tags and tagging in general…

What happens to young stock’s ears with double pin tags?

The interesting observation about the growth of the year as the animal matures is is that the ear expands in all directions. The ear doesn't go like a cow’s horn, from the base of the skull and in the one direction.
We have two sizes for a double pin clips, where the cattle double pins are wider compared to the sheep tags. This relates to the effective ear sizes and their growth patterns.
With both the double pin clips, we've found that there's never been a problem in regard to ear growth and any crimping of the skin between the two prongs. The skin area in this location is always normal and the abuts next to each pong. We are often asked that question.
It is at the outer aspect of each pin as the ear grows, the initial ear hole made by the tag extends further outwards.Many farmers apply our tags at birth and don’t even notice any increase in pin hole diameter. The hole extending outward is Ok and doesn’t affect the animal or the retention properties of the tags. What you might see is a circular space that appears and is approximately the width of the prong, and so it not very large. Rarely, the open space width is wider than described. It i important not to place the heavier maxi tags front and back on very young calves. You are best to tag with a small management tag or our NLIS tag, then apply the maxis or our High Tags on stock with some maturity.
So dairy farmers apply our High or maxi tags at weaning or as yearlings. tags at So as the ear grows it grows outward in all directions, so the initial hole made in the ear from the prong insertion grows and moves outwards.
With single pin tags, the ear hole enlarges as the ear grows, however the flange/locking area is wide and obstructs the hole unless it is quite large..Removing management tags show the extent of the hole enlargement.

Can you apply Enduro Tags to very young livestock?

The extent of the tag holes seen with Enduro Tags depends upon the size or weight of the tag. As with tags in general, we do not recommend to apply maxi tags ( front and back) to new born stock. For new born stock, short maxi and double pin clips are fine. The maxi tags can be applied to beef calves at their first vaccination at 4-8 weeks, and there after.
Our NLIS cattle and sheep tags can be applied to the new born, as these tags are not heavy.
Most of our dairy farmers apply the long maxis management and high tags (ETF6 ETM3 High) to their yearling heifers. The tags stay upright and carry some weight, but at this age, they suit perfectly. These heifers have the best tag retention and tag visibility and no evidence of prong hole enlargement nor ear irritability.
They generally apply a small tag at birth in association with NLIS tags.
We recommend our Combo 3 and 4 stud ewe tags (ETF2 ETM1) to be applied at 6 months onwards as weaners. These ewes have had time to mature and these larger visual tags are well suited to the animal at this age.

Should you use disinfectants? and what type?

Disinfectants are recommended to use as a routine practice or if in particular, your property has experienced previous ear tag infections.
We recommend to spray the male tag whilst in the applicator or simply dip the male tag whilst on the applicator. My reference is to spray as this way, your hands stay dry and so application is made easy.
Any disinfectant is better than none. Disinfection is more critical in dirty wet conditions or in humid & hot conditions. We have seen higher ear tag infection rates when tags are applied in very humid hot weather. We would discourage tagging during these conditions. A dry heat is fine.
Chlorhexidene, Dettol or Betadine solutions are mostly available from rural merchandisers, vets, or chemists. Always follow the dilution directions using clean water and keep the solutions fresh and clean.

What climatic conditions should you avoid for tagging stock?

From our observations, warm humid conditions are not conducive to appropriate wound healing. Likewise, tagging livestock under these conditions, particularly with lambs/sheep can lead to a higher tag infection rate. This can be seen as a the chronic infection with granulation growth expanding across the ear and eventual tag loss if not corrected. This infection type is caused by particular bacteria/fungi which can be dormant on the ear within a flock and shows when tags are applied in warm/hot humid conditions. To correct these infections if they have occurred with any tag type, you are best to cut out the granulating wound and spray with betadine solution ( require anti bacterial/anti fungal properties.
Infections in cattle from ear tagging tends to be less prevalent but can be seen at times. Good hygiene practices and avoiding warm/hot humid conditions reduces infection incidence.