Methods of Marking Visual ID Ear Tags


January 04, 2012

Visual ID ear tags have become the most widely used form of animal identification, the cost benefits to a cattle,

sheep or pig producer simply out weight the cost of the tags themselves. The practice of tagging cattle and sheep

has come a long way, since it was first conceived as an option over branding in early 1950.

Allflex Maxi[3]Visual ID tags have also evolved as technology becomes more advance, and new uses of tags become available.


come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and forms, each with its own benefits for its particular application.

There are tags designed especially for feedlots, rotary tags for sheep and goats, insecticide tags for cattle,

which provide an additional benefit of horn fly control, which runs rapid within livestock.

There are three main methods of marking visual ear tags; each method has its own benefits and costs.

Hot Foil Stamping:

Hot foil stamping is the most effective process to ensure ear tags retain their visual marking. The process is

done using heat and a press, which gives the tag an impression as well as ink.

This leaves the tag with a permanent form of marking, with the impression of the tag ID on the tag, as well as

the ink.

Laser Printing:

Laser printing of visual tags is another effective and permanent way of marking ear tags. The process is done

with a laser beam heating the tag, which changes the color of the tag material, therefore making a permanent

mark, which is always visible.

Laser-Ink Printing:

This is another process of marking visual tags, that is a patented process from Allflex, which is the same

process as laser printing, with the ink added to the laser etching, which provides more of a permanent mark on

visual or panel ID ear tags.

Self Marking:

Self marking tags, is the most cost effective form of marking a blank visual tag for cattle.  The best practice is to use a

permanent marker, like a Sharpie to mark the visual tag.

Some tag manufactures have their own unique markers, which are recommended; because of the ink formula is

specially made to mark the blank tags. Although a Sharpie can be used as well, it is highly recommended to use

high quality permanent markers, which are formulated to provide additional protection against weather conditions

such as UV rays.

By George Luker © Copyright 2012 Livestock-ID


Anonymous,  July 9, 2012 at 8:01 AM  

But doesn't it hurt to put an
ID tag through a cow's ear, maybe as much as with a brand? Is it also cheaper or something?

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Livestock-ID: Animal Identification Resources, is a blog dedicated to helping producers and professionals with the various types of Animal Identification. From RFID wand readers, to cattle management software. Providing tips and how to articles from A to Z.

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