How old to tattoo at? : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

What age do you tattoo your kids at? I've been doing mine young in the past, at the same time when I disbud. But my herd tattoo has four letters, sometimes the ears are kind of little. I had a habit of tattooing near the tip, easy to reach, no ribs. Well, when the vet came to do the health certificates, some of the tattoos were VERY hard to read.

The other factor with tattoos is that my kids are dam raised. I have to earn their trust. Burning their little horns our one day, then a few weeks later if I did a bad job , and then catching them a third time to spear their ears with lots of little spikes doesn't exactly endear me to them, even if they were cuddly to start with! So I've been doing all the 'mean stuff' at the same time, to just get it over with. At what time do you tattoo and why?

-- Rebekah (, March 12, 2002


I can't wait for answers on this! I am just a terrible wuss when it comes to causing pain for my critters. I know it's necessary, but somehow it's really rough for me.

-- Doreen (, March 12, 2002.

I haven't done any yet, but plan on doing them when I burn horns. I also figured get the trauma all over at one time. I'll have my first to do in about a month. :-(

-- Wendy (, March 12, 2002.

I try to tattoo with thier second or third CDT. This year I'm putting all the tattoos in the center of the tail. I still have one goat from last year that hates to have her ears handled since I tattooed her ears. Plus it's easier to read a tattoo in the tail at the shows. I just use one in the center so I only have to pinch them once. I just hate to tattoo.

-- shari (, March 12, 2002.

Perhaps I will use a fake email addy with this so nobody tells ADGA :) I do not use my tatto's as identification, so I don't tattoo until the kids are going to be shown and honestly that is in 12 to 24 months usually, or if they are sold. I do not tattoo kids who only go with puppy papers, unless the person is already and ADGA member, since they are rarely registered in the long run. I use the cattle leg bands that Jeffers sells, cut each in half lengthwise and put their names on them at birth, on bucks they wear their mom's name. If two goats look very much alike, or when we had LaMancha's I would tattoo A, B, C, D, etc in their flank and green ink it when they were born, then kept in the house a code of A=sally etc. so if they lost their velcro collars I wasn't playing the guessing game. I do sit out by the pen and fill out the discriptions of the goats on their ADGA papers very thoroughly.

With the questions on the other forums about cleaning tattoo digits, have to tell you that I do not ink the ears before pressing in the digits, so none of my digits get ink on them. After pressing on the digits I then use green paste only and smear it on with old toothbrushes, now the dollar stores carry sacks of them. I used to throw baking powder or cornstrach on the ear afterwards, sort of makes a crust so the paste stays in place, but saw a 4H kid using a cheapo baby powder this winter instead, and I am going to use it from now on. I love my 4H kids, they come up with some of the greatest ideas! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 12, 2002.

Vicki, I see lots of goats at the shows with thier green paste ears and tails. At the last show the judge started grumbling about her green hands. :) Before if my goats are not to sold for breeding, I don't even bother with the tattoo. But since this scrapie thing and ID, I did everyone this year so far. I did get the tags but I don't want to ear tag them!

-- shari (, March 12, 2002.

I have one of those "kid boxes" and do the tattoo and disbud on the same day. I do the middle of the ear and the toothbrush routine like Vicki. I have a nice warm bottle ready for them when I am done and have never found them to be remembering me as the "bad person". I never tattoo bucks unless they are outstanding and I am thinking I might want to show them or sell as a buck. Since I really hate doing painful things to my goats, I prefer to get it out of the way as soon as possible so I don't have it hanging over my head to do.

-- diane (, March 12, 2002.

I like the ears to grow a little more. I have Alpines. I can't tell you how many breeders I know who sell kids without even tattooing, bad, bad, bad, tsk! But it happens. i used to tattoo at a month old, but then the tattoos would grow out, etc. So I decided finally a few yrs ago to do it basically the way Vicki does. its a lot easier and less complicated. I will tattoo my kids before shows if i show them, well, let me back that up, I tattoo the kids at the time I send the registration papers in to ADGA for my top show babies.

-- Bernice (, March 12, 2002.

Excuse me ma'am(s)...I have a badge and am from The ADGA, put your tattoo kits up in the air and come quietly...

Seriously tho', tattooing babies will always result in unreadables, that's why there is an age restriction on humans. Honestly, I have seen men who got tattoos on their biceps at sixteen and then in their early twenties they turned into men and those tattoos spread out and look horrible. Makes perfect sense.

-- Doreen (, March 13, 2002.

At the risk of being (yegaads!) controversial, uh, should we think about microchips? Not as traumatic, but hmmmm, more expensive. But with a microchip reader there is no question, no "hard to read" tattoos.

Bracing for responses,


-- Dennis Enyart (, March 15, 2002.

I received an e-mail several months ago from a lady in.... hmmm...... forgot where she wa slocated, maybe Colorado? That does microchips for ID's. I still ahve her e-mail addy if you are interested. When i went to WV last fall my friend and I discussed it in regards to a viable solution for scrapie. I recall the lady telling me ADGA had replied to her letter, but don't know much more. I'll try to find her information. Here is her information. OK, found it:

I am still interested in talking with you regarding electronic ID for dairy goats. Please contact me to discuss. I am available toll free at 1-877-351-7711.

Thank you Elsie EZ-ID animal identification.

-- Bernice (, March 15, 2002.

Did anyone ever hear if ADGA said YES or NO to Micro Chips instead of Tattoos? I vote MICRO CHIP! cleaner, less mess, less painfull for me and my goat's. hmmm can't hurt to add my 2 cents in I guess.

Thank you!

-- (, January 16, 2003.

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