Tattoo Marking

Every kid should be tattooed shortly after birth to assure lifelong identification. Proper tattoo identification is required by many fairs, is essential in production testing, and ensures that identifications do not become confused. More than once stolen animals have been recovered because of the positive identification afforded by the tattoo. In cases of death and settling of estates, the presence or absence of tattoo marks in the animals has meant the difference between a good herd being discarded because no one could properly identify the animals, or the profitable sale of the herd because the purchaser was able to know positively the identity of the goats purchased.

Tattooing success depends entirely upon the operator and following a few simple rules:

Hold the animal securely. With a small kid this is no problem, as its head can be held between the operator’s knees or placed in a disbudding box. With a larger goat, you may use a stanchion or tie the goat close using a halter and lead.

Cleanse the area of the ear to be tattooed, using a cloth dampened with Formula 409 or alcohol to remove dirt, grease and wax. (In the case of the earless LaMancha breed, the tattoo is placed in the thin webbing at the base of the tail, using the same technique.)

Using a pliers-type tattoo, the correct symbols are inserted in the pliers. Check the correctness of the tattoo by impressing it in a sheet of paper. I impress the tattoo into the bottom of the Application for Registration paperwork for each kid to check for correctness.

Smear green ink on the skin, covering the area of the tattoo. Green is the color of choice for both dark and light colored ears. Choose an area free from freckles or warts that might disfigure the tattoo. Place the symbols of the tattoo so they will be parallel to and between the veins or cartilaginous ridges of the ear. The accidental piercing of a good-size vein may spoil the tattoo.

Make the imprint with a quick firm movement of closing the tattoo pliers. Immediately after releasing the pliers, apply more ink on the ear and rub vigorously and continuously for at least 15 seconds to insure penetration of the ink. This is very important. You may rub with both your thumb and forefinger, or use a stiff brush such as a toothbrush.

Do not disturb the tattooed area until the healing process is complete, which may be from 5 to 21 days depending on the age of the animal.

Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery, LLC
Farmstead Goat Dairy
3255 Buffalo Creek Farm Road
Germanton, NC 27019