Sheep ear tag problem

ladycrofter

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Highland
Have just replaced 20% of ear tags in the hoggs. Never had this problem before, using the same tags for years, but this year we put them in the front of the ear (this past Summer). Previously we always put them in the back.

A hard warty ring formed around the tag and spread outwards about 20-25mm, in a perfect circle,, in every case. Some of them weren't noticeable until we started checking the whole mob. We were able to pop the warty disc out, tag and all. It was a bit bloody around the edge but not as if there was an infection or torn in any way. We checked that the ear didn't appear to have been damaged in any way by the tag. There was crusty stuff caught in the gap where it goes through the ear.

Has anyone had this happen? Is there something different about the front tissue of the ear, from the back? First time using purple tags, could it be an allergic reaction to the dye?
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
What time of year did you tag them?

I once bought some gimmers in July/August time and the chap double tagged them all just before I picked them up. They got very bothered by flies and a lot went a bit 'manky' and then scabbed over and then the pin holes became very big.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Have just replaced 20% of ear tags in the hoggs. Never had this problem before, using the same tags for years, but this year we put them in the front of the ear (this past Summer). Previously we always put them in the back.

A hard warty ring formed around the tag and spread outwards about 20-25mm, in a perfect circle,, in every case. Some of them weren't noticeable until we started checking the whole mob. We were able to pop the warty disc out, tag and all. It was a bit bloody around the edge but not as if there was an infection or torn in any way. We checked that the ear didn't appear to have been damaged in any way by the tag. There was crusty stuff caught in the gap where it goes through the ear.

Has anyone had this happen? Is there something different about the front tissue of the ear, from the back? First time using purple tags, could it be an allergic reaction to the dye?

My guess is that you’ve somehow managed to either introduce some kind of infection while putting the tags in, or the time of year was conducive to flies getting an infection in.
I really can’t see how position in the ear can make any difference to likelihood of infection, or the tiny amount of die used in an inert material like plastic.

A bugger nonetheless.:(
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
Sounds like they got infected which will eat away the cartilage. The plastic is pretty inert to cause such a reaction.
Raw skin in summer =flies. Presume nobody dropped the tags in the sh1t, left lying in Land Rover floor for 2 weeks or tagged with the same hands which dagged them? I am sure that was not the case :)
You could give each ear a wipe with disinfectant cloth next time as 20% is a lot. Then again, probably be OK
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Thanks for replies. Think we'll consider disinfectant next year.
someone said to me once "some people disinfect the tags but how bout try disinfecting the ear as well" easier siad than done i know but might be worth the faff especially if theres a severe bug challenge around about

bit of dilute dettol or something not that keen on the messy wetness that goes with mind you some sort of dry powder might be better.and can you use a clamp or if its a small amount someone to to hold them ? way better for tagging stops them pulling their head down jerk after the pin goes through
 

Charlie1

Member
Livestock Farmer
I want to put management tags in ewes that are currently housed and due to lamb from the start of March. Would this be ok from a hygiene/ stress point of view?
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I want to put management tags in ewes that are currently housed and due to lamb from the start of March. Would this be ok from a hygiene/ stress point of view?
yes if handling is done sensibly of course, and a clamp ( if they will fit in ) would be useful in immobilising them .
then as above post s really on cleanliness of ear and tag because indoors there can be more concentrated bugs around (especially in sheds that have had sheep in for year afteryear ) but their ears will be drier or should be for the time of the wound being a bit raw so that can help healing ir .

because if you get them done now asap you will then have that once a year opportunity to record easy/linking when they lamb.
 

ladycrofter

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Highland
We had a group of cattle tags do this so dipped then in dilute iodine on the rest. Washed the box they’re kept in as well as the pliers before the next batch arrived and never had a problem without iodine since.
Just away to do the same! Never thought about the bag being the problem. It was odd that a lot of the numbers were in runs - 1300, 1301, 1302 etc. But we tend not to drop banks of tags in the muck and then use them dirty 😝 We have however been using the same poly bag for years and throwing the pliers in too.
Thanks for replies.
 

Agrivator

Member
Why do folk tag in the front of the ear. I know all the instructions say tag in the front, but we (and about 90% of other farmers) tag in the back. The reason is that its much easier, and carries far less risk of the sheep jumping and causing tearing of the ear.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Why do folk tag in the front of the ear. I know all the instructions say tag in the front, but we (and about 90% of other farmers) tag in the back. The only reason is that its much easier, and cause far less physical damage to the ear
the top of the ear (on relatively mature sheep ) is tougher (which makes it harder to put in yes ) which 'should' hold it better ,( mind out the thickness isnt too much for the tag tho ) and the tag does'nt 'dangle' by its own weight like it does the bottom of the ear position.
Tag on top is easier to see and read with a hand held.

but some sheep are gonna be destined to break out tags by their nature and others , well i guess thats just bad luck or less common these days poor tags or batch .
 

ISCO

Member
Location
North East
Why do folk tag in the front of the ear. I know all the instructions say tag in the front, but we (and about 90% of other farmers) tag in the back. The reason is that its much easier, and carries far less risk of the sheep jumping and causing tearing of the ear.
We changed to front of ear 4 years ago. Firstly because we changed tags and that was the recommendation and, secondly, we changed to tagging at birth which we find is much easier in front of ear when holding a lamb in other hand.
When we tagged at slaughter we tagged in back of ear as this is much easier in a race.
 

Filthyfarmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Hertfordshire
Why do folk tag in the front of the ear. I know all the instructions say tag in the front, but we (and about 90% of other farmers) tag in the back. The reason is that its much easier, and carries far less risk of the sheep jumping and causing tearing of the ear.
We tag at the front and My thinking it is less likely to rip out putting head through netting grazing........ or more to the point ripping it out pulling head out of the netting.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
im pretty sure we loose ,or get as many ripped ears in on top position as we ever did .
if they stick their heads through stockfence etc theres no difference i can either one way or the other still a risk.
not even sure if using 8/80/30 helps or encourages it in that respect

but i still far prefer this

Tag-placement.jpg


to this
5f89d49da18f02.30607993-1161x1152.jpg



infact if i see droopy dangly eartags on sheep for sale it probably shouldn't do but it actually turns me right off funnily enough :oops:
 

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