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Ear tags

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Katpau

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For years I used Z-tags and I was extremely satisfied. My last batch however did not work out. The tip that punctured the ear would not go in straight, and it would end up bending over ruining the ear tag. I threw away dozens. I ran into a man at a trade show who told me the company had been sold, and the new owners had cheapened materials to increase profits. Although I was assured those quality control problems have since been fixed, this year I purchased a similar product made by Allflex. This one was labeled A-tag, but appears almost identical to the Z-tag.

The old Z-tags would fade unless you used a Z-tag marker. It was explained to me that those markers were designed to chemically combine with the plastic on Z tags and leave an imprint that would last years. I have those markers left, so I was wondering if anyone else has tried Z tag markers on A-tags? I am hoping the plastics are similar so I can use them up.
 

SBMF 2015

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For years I used Z-tags and I was extremely satisfied. My last batch however did not work out. The tip that punctured the ear would not go in straight, and it would end up bending over ruining the ear tag. I threw away dozens. I ran into a man at a trade show who told me the company had been sold, and the new owners had cheapened materials to increase profits. Although I was assured those quality control problems have since been fixed, this year I purchased a similar product made by Allflex. This one was labeled A-tag, but appears almost identical to the Z-tag.

The old Z-tags would fade unless you used a Z-tag marker. It was explained to me that those markers were designed to chemically combine with the plastic on Z tags and leave an imprint that would last years. I have those markers left, so I was wondering if anyone else has tried Z tag markers on A-tags? I am hoping the plastics are similar so I can use them up.
Yes! I use Z-tag markers exclusively, they are the best tag markers I've found. I switched to Alflex A tags about 3years ago. I write about 150 calf tags a year. Some of those hfr calves get retained as cows. You can still read the tag they got 3years ago.
 

4vcattle

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We switched to one piece z-tags a couple years ago.
We have always put a large tag and a small tag with same number, so if one was gone we had a back-up.
Two years in the numbers on large tags were unreadable, but we felt ok in that the small back up tags were doing there job. Long story short that summer the cows starting losing the small tags/ gone .
This was a train wreck as we fall calve.
Contacting local rep on issue. Very responsive and honest with problems they had.
The tags being sold by local feed store were cheapest version they had, they need to be ( forget term)
Lazered in lieu of just ink impressed on top which wears off.
The small tags they sold were feedlot tags which are not designed for long use, which has its place. It explains why they started disappearing.
He went on to ask if we had calves with bent ears etc from tagging, which we had a few. He explained, this was due to the molding process in which one out of 10 in a group were defective and wound bend over a tear through ear.
I had thought I just did a bad job of tagging these little guys.
He strongly recommended we switch to there two piece system in future.
The z tag company provided us with new tags to retag the entire herd free of charge, which I felt was stand up, as well as being upfront admitting issues they had.
The new tags are doing well.
Go with tags two piece
 

Silver

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I use the Ritchey engraveable tags. They will never fade. I put a metal bangs style tag in the other ear. If the cow loses her tag I will still have a way to positively ID her.
 

SBMF 2015

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I have yet to see an infected ear from a one piece tag. Have seen lots though from two piece tags and bangs style metal tags.
 

Brute 23

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I've seen guns start acting up and break the ends off. I've also see people try to get in a hurry and not get the rod on the gun slid in to the tag right and all the way in. Pulling away as you tag increases the odds also.
 

76 Bar

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Like katpau I've used Z tags for years (on calves for ease of use) and a few years ago experienced application & fading problems in spite of adhering to their protocols. IMO yet another example of a once quality product bastardized & eventually falling short of the mark.
 

Stocker Steve

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Yes! I use Z-tag markers exclusively, they are the best tag markers I've found. I switched to Alflex A tags about 3years ago. I write about 150 calf tags a year. Some of those hfr calves get retained as cows. You can still read the tag they got 3years ago.
I can not keep Y tex tags in.
Have a hundred new Z tex tags that don't work...
Plan to order some Alfex A tags. Is the basic $27 tagger OK? Any reason not to use "cow" tags in calves?
 

SBMF 2015

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I can not keep Y tex tags in.
Have a hundred new Z tex tags that don't work...
Plan to order some Alfex A tags. Is the basic $27 tagger OK? Any reason not to use "cow" tags in calves?
Yes the basic yellow tagger works great. I think I have put A tags in with a Z tagger before. I know I have used my A tagger to put Z tags in before. I like the yellow A tagger a lot better than the blk plastic Z tagger.

You could probably use cow size tags on calves with our hurting them.
I feel like the A tags hang lower and are still not bad to read in heifers that stay as cows.
These are both calf tags.
 

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76 Bar

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Goes without saying tagging success & legibility requires a fundamental knowledge of proper application & marking techniques relevant to the respective products. If you haven't had problems in the past and suddenly encounter issues you need to communicate that to the company.
Have a hundred new Z tex tags that don't work...
See the 4vcattle post above.

FWIW I use calf size tags at birth & apply adult size tags to retained bulls & replacements because I find the adult size at birth can cause a drooping ear. To insure identity I also ear tattoo at processing.
 

JParrott

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I use Z Tags and cow size in all my calves and they all get tagged whether I'm keeping them or not. I've heard a person or two mention they're too big or heavy but an ounce of plastic isn't going make an ear droop. I also use the marker and do two coats. First coat goes on and then 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Second coat goes on and back into the microwave. No fading even after years.

I do lose one or two a year out of the calves but that's it. I haven't lost hardly any at all out of cows.
 

C-Ranch

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Use the Y-Tex tags and Z-marker. Have been doing this for years with no issues and rarely loose a tag. Z-marker ink lasts for years.
 

simme

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Here is a Z tag. It is faded. But that is not the ID number of the cow. She was lot 36 when she was purchased at a sale in April, 2006. That tag is almost 15 tears old. Happy with the life of that one.ear tag.jpg
 
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