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Senior Advisor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?


@buckfarmer wrote:
As for ear tags. They are a form of identification. I think they are a thing of the past though. The farms I know of that need to identify each individual animal use chips.

Ear tags also can have an insecticide in them to keep face flys away.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

I knew people used those on beef cows back in the eighties. Not many serious beef people around here these days. Only a couple dairies and they are very technologically advanced.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

My best answer:

Years ago, a farmer had 80 acres, or maybe a quarter section, and a handful of cows.   His cows went from the barn, to the pasture, then in the fall he would wean or sell the calves.   The cows/calves never left home, so to speak.   About all he needed, was a brand, so that if a fence broke and something strayed, he had proof of who's cows they were.

 

Now, take myself, as an example.   I am not in any way shape or form a large cattle rancher, but after calving I haul cattle out to 3 separate cattle pastures.   Some ranchers take cows to maybe a dozen or more.

The ear tag makes it easy to pair up mama and baby, for when you are hauling them away from home.  As the calves are born, I tag them with the same number that mama has, so that calf 123 goes with cow 123, calf 456 with cow 456, and so on.

This way, I can have a neighbor help, or hire just about anyone who can shoo a cow, to help sort out pairs to load out to pasture.

If you don't haul the baby with the right mama, no other cow willl take care of it.

 

Now, when 'farmer Brown' had his quarter section, with the back 80 fenced off, and only 20 cows to put there, he didn't have to worry about mixing up the pairs, because they were all in the same place.   However, haul a mismatched pair off 5 miles, and you probabaly just killed a calf.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

AS you have been told...CATTLE ARE TAGGED FOR IDENTIFICATION.....John

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Senior Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

 

Are you kidding me ?   You have another ID here and are apparently bored and decided to start a new hobby as TROLL.

Your humor Identifies you, Smiley Happy

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

I am from California.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

That may be so, but I personally don't like the looks of ear tags nonetheless.

 

If I were to own cows, I would brand them with individual numbers as well as my farm's trademark. 

 

I watch a lot of cowboy movies and there are no ear tags on the cattle in those. 

 

Just because many farmers practice certain things does not mean I agree with it or approve of it. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

This site is where we trade information with each other to try and remedy a situation or better our operation. We have all been down the road of "what I want to do" vs "what I need to do", and have decided which is more profitable.

I can see this is a no win thread, so unless you have something to bring to the discussion except pipe dreams I'll be seeing you later.
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Why do cows these days have ear tags?

You shouldn't learn about farming from story books and movies.  If that was the case, I've learned that bad guys with really big guns and lots of bullets never hit the good guys in a shot out.  You would never be cruel to your animals(from another of your posts) but yet you would rather put a cherry red hot iron on the hide of your cattle to burn a permanent scar on them instead of poking a little hole in their ear just because you don't like how tags look?????  My daughters ages 9 & 5 both have pierced ears, but I pretty sure I will never brand them. 

 

It was made clear to by others to id animals and pair up moms & babies.  I can tag a new calf at birth without much trouble.  But keeping a hot iron all the time day and night for a few months during calving season to i.d. new babies would be a real pain.

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