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7 years 7 months ago #524548 by CEW79
How do you do it? was created by CEW79
I'm wondering what everyone else does? I want to tag my sheep so I can make sure I know which lamb belongs to which ewe. This is my first year with Whiltshires and they are pretty hard to tell apart. Ive always had Suffolk and they were so easy to visually tell apart and write down their character and colour etc. So would love to hear what you all do :)

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7 years 7 months ago #524561 by Kilmoon
Replied by Kilmoon on topic How do you do it?
I tag our lambs within a day or two of birth, but I can easily get up close to the mums so no one takes off across the paddocks at speed. We use the fold over tag that I've engraved their number on with the soldering iron (then use the black permanent marker to write the number over the engraved lines). Its relatively easy to do as its a self-clip type: the applicator holds the tag semi folded over and it punches its own hole through the ear and into itself as you close the handle. Spray with iodine on each side of the hole in the ear and they're good to go.

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7 years 7 months ago #524567 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic How do you do it?
A word of caution on the use of iodine. Make absolutely sure it's the water based one, not the tincture (Isopropyl Alcohol) as the second one will damage eyes if spray or splash gets in them. A sheep may well shake its head as a reaction to the tag, so splash is very likely.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 7 months ago #524572 by jeannielea
Replied by jeannielea on topic How do you do it?
Does anyone watch the TV programe Farming Life? It follows several farmers in Scotland so most of the sheep give birth indoors. But they make identifying lambs easy by spraying the ewes tag number onto the side of the lambs - big enough to see at a short distance. We have wondered how long it takes to fade as I doubt the wool could be sold with it on.

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7 years 7 months ago #524575 by Geba
Replied by Geba on topic How do you do it?
Haha...I use kids' face paint (bright green, this year) to mark lambs as I vax them. The paint is supposed to wash off, but it's usually still there months later, although I haven't seen it last through to shearing time.

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7 years 7 months ago #524576 by Baroque
Replied by Baroque on topic How do you do it?
I use the pre-numbered fold over self piercing flock tags, and get different colours each year.

Males have tags in left ears, female are tagged in the right ear, I spray the tag point with tetravet purple spray before tagging to help avoid infections.

I try to do my Arapawa lambs the same day they are born otherwise they are too fast to catch!

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.

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7 years 7 months ago #524582 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic How do you do it?
We tag ours for the year they are born but haven't worked out either how to match a lamb to a ewe. We need to this year as we kept a non shedding ewe for eating, didn't get round to it and she has had triplets and I need to make sure I don't keep her ewe lambs. They are almost at the point where I will have trouble grabbing them with the sheppards hook, and once they are all in the yards an almost impossibility to match them. I'm thinking what sort of paint is safe and durable to mark them with and will still be there in 3-4 months?

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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7 years 7 months ago #524587 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic How do you do it?
We started tagging ewes and their lambs soon after we started in 1992, and have made various alterations over the years.
1. The ewes have bigger (Allflex Small, male and female, not buttons) tags, which are put in when they are hoggets when we know which we will keep.
2. The lambs have 2 piece Swivel tags. With the foldovers , the ears keep growing and can make pressure wounds in the ear as the ear grows. This means we have 2 sets of sheep taggers (and a couple of cattle taggers).
3. With the adult tags (Allflex Small) we use a different colour for each year, and start at number one. We did try using same colour and continue numbering, but have found that different colour each year, etc is far easier to record. Out in the paddock where I can only see the colour, I know that blue was born in 2009 and green in 2012. These go into the left ear, because that is the side that we read the adult tags
4. With the lamb tags, the females get lemon tags and the males pale blue, both in the right ear because that is the side that we read these,. Adult tags are too heavy for lambs small ears.
5 We buy lemon and pale blue because dark tags are difficult to read black numbers on.
6. The Allflex tag marker pen ink wears off, even when triple coated. We now scribe the plastic with a small soldering iron, and then write over that.
7. Adult tags are numbered year on top, sheep number underneath, so that the number can be seen on both sides of the ear.. Lamb tags do not have year on them, and number is written vertically.
8. The tag colour should be a pastel shade. With dark tags the numbers are difficult to see.
9. Spray raddle lasts for about 3 week. When we begin to not be able to see the raddle mark the lambs get their tags, tails and testicles done.

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7 years 7 months ago #524593 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic How do you do it?
You can use raddle in the short term, ie, mark the first ewe and the lambs on the head, second one on the butt, down the right shoulder , down the left shoulder ...same place on ewe and lamb, so from a distance you can see who is who, it lasts a couple of weeks if no heavy rain.
I tag all ewe lambs with a coloured tag, difference colour tag each year, boys ( Rams ) get a blue tag...those destined for the whit paddock don't get a tag....you can number each tag if required.
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7 years 7 months ago - 7 years 7 months ago #524596 by kate
Replied by kate on topic How do you do it?
We tag our goat kids with yellow tags for girls, blue tags for boys. The first number is the last number of the year they were born and the other numbers are the order they were born with the boys starting at 21. So the first born doe kid born in 2016 will be 601 the second will be 602 etc. The first buck kid will be 621 the second 622. What if we have more than 20 doe kids in a year? We'll face that when we come to it :blink:

Because we farm goats for their fleece we have as many males as females. The numbering system is useful as we know if we are looking for 322 that we're looking for a blue tag.

It sounds complicated but we have over 100 goats and we need a system that works for us.

The easiest way to match the lamb to the ewe is to tag the lamb, make a note of the number, let it go and it will run straight to mum for a consolation drink of milk. Then you've matched them :P

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Last edit: 7 years 7 months ago by kate.
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7 years 7 months ago #524597 by Geba
Replied by Geba on topic How do you do it?
As for *catching* lambs...

we use a net. I bought it from a fishing shop, it's very strong and has a telescopic handle, and I actually bought it to catch our peacock (and I ended up using an army surplus tangle net for HIM) but this big fishing net is very handy for catching lambs with - I just swipe it over them and pin the net brim to the ground. The lambs can then be easily picked up, dosed etc & let go again. The net is definitely the tool to have.

Yes, it looks hilarious. However, having endured some very frustrating lamb chasing sessions in the past, I don't care!
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7 years 7 months ago #524601 by Baroque
Replied by Baroque on topic How do you do it?

Geba wrote: As for *catching* lambs...

we use a net. I bought it from a fishing shop, it's very strong and has a telescopic handle, and I actually bought it to catch our peacock (and I ended up using an army surplus tangle net for HIM) but this big fishing net is very handy for catching lambs with - I just swipe it over them and pin the net brim to the ground. The lambs can then be easily picked up, dosed etc & let go again. The net is definitely the tool to have.

Yes, it looks hilarious. However, having endured some very frustrating lamb chasing sessions in the past, I don't care!


That's a great idea!

I usually get behind them them and grab them with the crook and some of these sessions must look hilarious too!

Those Arapawa lambs of ours are incredibly fast even at a few hours old... :ohmy:

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.

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7 years 7 months ago #524619 by CEW79
Replied by CEW79 on topic How do you do it?
Thanks so much for all the ideas. I still can't quite decide what to do :( I better make up my mind soon lol. Whatever I do I want it to be a system I will stick with and that is easy and of course works. I'm thinking I will only tag the ewe lambs (this year at least). So far each of my ewes have a different colour ear tag (not a big flock) and I was thinking the ewe lamb could have the same colour as mother with a number on (year & if two of them say 161 or 162). Any problems you see down that track with this system? And do you ever have trouble with them loosing their tags?

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7 years 7 months ago #524620 by CEW79
Replied by CEW79 on topic How do you do it?
Why not button tags LongRidge?

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7 years 7 months ago #524648 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic How do you do it?
Tags are lost quite often, especially if you have bushes, netting gates, or any fences, or have put the tag too close to the edge of the ear. With tagging the lambs very young, we find that sometimes the ewes chew the tag, which is not very good for it's legibility, or the lamb's ear.
Round tags cannot hold enough information in a way that is easy to read.
If you manage to find the best system for you first time, you will be very lucky indeed. At some stage NZ will have to go to electronic tagging of all animals, so if you don't start off by doing that then you will have to change at some time.

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