Tipperary farmers get tagging tips for calf care and compliance

Correct application of tags is fundamental

Tipperary farmers get tagging tips for calf care and compliance

The correct application of cattle tags is fundamental to any operation

We understand the increased pressure and time constraints farmers are under, particularly at this time of year, so we have put together some handy tips and tricks to help you when tagging calves this spring.

Tagging calves is carried out as part of the Bovine Animal Identification System. The aim is to guarantee the safety of beef and beef products by the operation of an effective animal identification and tracing system.

The Herdwatch App offers farmers a simple way to register calves on the spot through their smartphone and we are delighted to announce that the millionth calf was registered in Herdwatch just last week on January 30 in County Clare.

The tagging system requires the application of two identically numbered yellow plastic ear tags to calves born on a holding within 20 days of birth. However, to avoid confusion calves should be tagged as soon as the animal is dry, so the job is done and dusted.

Correct application of cattle tags is fundamental to any operation. Properly placed tags will minimise discomfort for the animal, decrease risk of injury to personnel and last longer in the ear.

Physical tagging tips include:

- Ensure the calf is securely restrained.

- Squeeze the handles of the tagger to check that the pin slides easily into the hole on the opposite end of the tagger.

- Place the male component of the tag on the tagger pin and the female component on the opposite side.

- Make sure the female tag part is correctly aligned with its male counterpart and squeeze the taggers.

- Remove the tagger and ensure the tag halves are interlocked and placed both securely and comfortably.

The ideal location for a tag is in the middle one-third of the ear, between the rises in auricular cartilage.

Tags placed too close to the head will fit too tightly due to the thicker cartilage and may cause tissue necrosis. Tags placed too far towards the top or bottom of the ear are easily torn off.

Always be aware of safety and create a physical barrier between yourself and the cow when handling her calves as cows are very protective of their young.

Herdwatch has partnered with all three approved cattle tag providers in Ireland, Cormac Tagging, Datamars Agri and Mullinahone Co-Op, to help farmers counteract a major cross-compliance issue by allowing members to record and order missing tags directly from the Herdwatch app on their phone.

All the farmer needs to do is select the missing tag numbers and place the order with their tag company of choice through the Herdwatch App.

This feature continues to deliver Herdwatch’s goal of constant innovation, eliminates duplicate recording and ultimately speeds up the process for farmers.

If you are not a Herdwatch member, ensure that you order replacement tags with your supplier as soon as you notice them missing and keep compliant.

If you are not already a member of Herdwatch now is the perfect time to give it a try for free and get started by registering your calves this spring.

You too can join over 11,500 happy farmers saving time on farm paperwork and managing their farms more efficiently for FREE.

The Free-Plan allows farmers to:

- Download their Herd from APHIS (NI), BCMS (UK) or Agfood (IRL)

- Record 10 calf registrations

- Record their medicine purchases

- Record Heat detection and general tasks

- Weight Recording and Average Daily Gain analysis

To find out more visit or call and chat to the team on 0505 34400.