Tuesday, July 12, 2011

removing the tag

A few of you asked how I was going to remove the tag from Vera's ear. I wasn't sure because I'd never bought a tagged animal from an auction. Like so many other questions this first year on the homestead, I thought I could probably find the answer at Tractor Supply Company or Southern States.

Me: "My goat has a tag I need to remove; do you have something I can use to do it myself?"

(doing it ourselves is what keeps this whole thing going)

Tractor Supply Guy: "Yes m'am, right over here"

I know, I got m'amed, but in the context of buying a livestock ear tag remover at Tractor Supply it felt quite right. $4.99 later I was headed home to free her from her big plastic earring.

In case you were wondering, this is how it works:

The tag reads, unlawful to remove, so the first step is to ignore that.

Take the knife and slide it between the tag and the ear. You will be cutting the post that goes through the ear. Get a firm grip and gently pull on the hook while moving in a twisting motion.  Do not tug too hard or you could do more damage to the ear - especially long ones like this Nubian cross has.

Next apply antiseptic to the hole in the ear to clean it and prevent infection.

It does leave quite a hole

This is what Vera thinks of ear tags

1 comment:

  1. I just happened to stumble across your goat post and thought I'd shed a little light on the subject of your Goat's ear tag. What you removed was a scrapie tag.

    All states require certain sheep and goats to be officially identified on change of ownership. And, while many states have identical requirements to the USDA interstate requirements, other states have additional requirements regarding intrastate movement and/or interstate movement, and some states exempt certain classes of sheep and/or goats. It is your responsibility as a person who owns or handles sheep or goats to know and adhere to state requirements for your respective state and, if moving out of state, to know and adhere to the federal requirements and those of the states to where animals are being moved.

    In short, it's a tracking system for your goat that was started in order to help eliminate Scrapies from goat and sheep herds. And it really is unlawful to remove it.

    More on the Scrapie disease here:



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