Recently there have been some comments posted on a Pygmy Goat Chat Group about torn ears, caused by inappropriate (?) eartags. I suggested that the tags that had been applied were possibly unsuitable for the very small ears of a pygmy kid. My own experience, after experimenting with different tags, is that the smaller lamb tags with a finer ‘stem’ are ideal. Firstly they are kinder to the kid as they punch a much smaller hole through the ear. Secondly, if you snip the tag (which comes as a one piece wrap around) so that it hangs in 2 pieces either side of the ear, there is much less chance of the ear being torn if the kid gets its head caught (usually in a fence or hayrack)  I believe they are designed to break apart rather than rip the ear. Several of my goats have lost their tags this way - resulting in me having to replace with a new tag but it is a very simple (and painless task) because you can use the same hole. Much better than a torn ear in my opinion. I have used the DEFRA website to find their approved suppliers/manufacturers of eartags and will list below the ones which sell tags suitable for sheep & goats. The tags which I now use for my kids (and would recommend) are called ‘D-tags’ and I get them from Daltons Ltd. They are available from some of the other suppliers listed below (marked with a + ) but may be sold under a different name.

Approved Suppliers

http://www.agriflex.co.uk/sheep.htm

http://www.allflex.co.uk/items/products/products_sheep.htm

http://www.coxagri.com/index.html

http://www.daltontags.co.uk/

http://www.denimex.co.uk/

http://www.ewtag.com/index.htm

http://www.greenfarmhealth.co.uk/new-sheep-ear-tags

http://www.ketchums.co.uk/page3.htm

http://www.thetags4u.com/gb/product.php?productid=16284&cat=283&page=1 (called ‘supersmall’ tag)

http://www.fearing.co.uk/new_tag_sheep.cns?cID=10

http://www.quicktag.co.uk/sheep_products.aspx?species=sheep&region=Uk Mainland + (called ‘Easytag’)

http://www.ritchey.co.uk/Sheep-Tags/default.aspx

http://www.shearwell.co.uk/catalogue/sheeptags.aspx

http://www.symtag.co.uk/pages/sheeptags

There are a few other suppliers listed on the Defra website but they do not have websites, also some others which only seem to sell cattle tags. Below is a link to the Defra web page which lists all the suppliers; http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/movements/sheep/eartag-makers.htm

Hilary Breakell

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