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Tattooing Goats

Tattooing is not the horrible chore that some producers like to make you believe. If you can organize your tattoo digits and have a good person to help you, tattooing can be simple.
If your goats routinely lose ear tags, tattooing is a good options for permanent identification.

If your goats routinely lose ear tags, tattooing is a good options for permanent identification.

It is increasingly important to tattoo your goats. The American Dairy Goat Association requires all goats to be tattooed and many breed associations are following suit. The Scrapie eradication program will accept tattoos as identification if they are registered with the state as being specific to your herd. Ear tags often get pulled out and cause a lot of grief. Tattoos, on the other hand, can be a great form of identification if applied correctly.

The most important point of tattooing is to make sure you are putting the tattoo in the correct ear. Some organizations will tell you to put a farm tattoo in the right ear and the individual number in the left ear. Be sure you are standing behind the goat and using the GOATS right or left ear, not facing the goat and getting mirror results. Read the breed or organization guidelines before tattooing any animals. Once the tattoo is applied it is difficult to change.

I like to use the .300 pet tattoo pliers and digits or the 5/16 inch pliers and digits. You can get a tattoo kit at a local feed store, or out of a supply catalog. Be sure you get the correct digits for the pliers. Expect to pay between $20.00 and $40.00 for a tattoo kit. Many kits will come with one set of digits but you may need more than one set. One set of tattoo digits will cost between $10.00 and $30.00.