We use DUFLEX, prenumbered for calves until the get their permanenet tag, we reuse the same tags year after year. For the retained heifers and cows we use DUFLEX blanks that we number ourselves. We get them from mailorder but the local farm supply stores carry them, sometimes just not the coloors we want. A few purchased animals have the ztags. I've replaced about the same number of both. With the buttoin type tags at least you can reuse the hole. The ztags tear/split the ear
I like Y-tex. I think they stay in better than most of the other brands, and they are easy to read as they dangle down further. We don't often have to replace lost tags, since we have switched to the Y-tex. We buy the blank tags, and use the bottled ink to write on the tags. That stuff etches into the tags, and lasts as long as the tags do.
We use custom Y-Tex tags inprinted with out brand and a number for the cows. When we sell calves at the end of the month we are going to switch next year calf tags to blank tags. We use to use tags that matched the cow, but over the years they have been lost or went to the sale barn, etc. This year the first calf born had to be tagged with 17 because that is where the numerical order started. We like them and probably won't ever switch. Since we use custom cow tags Y-Tex has our set up on file so we won't have to pay for that again. If we switched we would have to pay for a set up fee.
We used Y-Tex - with custom numbering- available from the local Co-op. We had very few problems with the critters losing them, we could get them in a variety of colors, the ink didn't fade, and they held up very well over time.
We have been using Y Tex for about 17 years. After about 5 or 6 years they start to fade. Then the plastic starts to get brittle and they end up breaking the stud (usually hangs up on barbwire or a cedar limb).
I started 40 years ago with the old arrow type tags-- that used a pointed arrow type device to install...I think they were made by Allflex..Didn't have good retention, hard to read because they didn't hang down low enough, and I hated packing that sharp pointed installation tool (saw a guy stick one in his leg )...
Switched to the Y-Tex-- a little better retention, but still lost too many- and ran into the problem of ripping ears out when installing if the calf/cow moved quickly when putting the tag in...And I was always packing buttons in my pocket- that poked me... :shock:
The last 3 years I have used the Z-Tags and get better retention, and don't have the rip out problem as the tagger flips up on its own...The only thing I wish is that Z-Tag would offer a tag you could use a dremel type tool on to engrave the number so its still readable if the ink fades in 8-10 years...