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Tagging ears...

Wisteria Farms

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Just wondering... do you all "swish" your tagger in disinfectant before each punch? If so, what do you use? I'm thinking there's something I can use (with the tagger loaded) that'll help guard against infection, etc. Also, is there anything wrong with NOT using the temporary calf tags?... just going straight to the big tags?
 

dun

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Sine on our tagger the tagger itself never tocuhes the animal I don;t see much sense in disinfecting it. Calves with full sized ear tags took kind of funny, that's about it. We used to sue them but went to the smaller ones for no reason other then the look.
 

Wisteria Farms

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Hi Dun....
Thanks for replying so quick...
yes I know the tagger doesn't touch the animal... I meant with the tagger loaded (ready to tag) some people dip it right before punching to help prevent against infection (that way the solution gets IN the fresh punched hole). I can see that the calves look funny with a big-ole tag in their ear but they grow so fast I just can't see tagging twice...
Just curious what everyone else does....
 

Workinonit Farm

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No, I never 'swish' my tagger in disinfectant. I've only had one minor infection after many, many taggings. And that minor infection cleared up rather quickly. I also use the large tags. They look kind of funny, but the calves grow into them quick enough.

Where I work the tagger isn't disinfected either. Large tags are also used, (easier to read) then changed at weaning.

Katherine
 

SRBeef

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The Duflex tags I use say the piercing portion is pre-coated with something to prevent infection.

I think repeatedly dipping the whole tagger, tag and button in a jar of the same solution might actually cause more infection than it prevents. I think the key is to keep the buttons and tags clean when working the cattle. There is a lot of manure etc splashing around at times. I set up a small bench on saw horses away from the chute a little ways to set everything out and try to keep a cover on things - tape a clean towel to the edge of the bench and flip it up and down as we work.

Good luck.
 

novaman

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I carry a spray bottle filled with iodine when I tag calves. Give a few squirts on the button and put the tag in. Couple years back I had a whole mess of calves get infection. Started using the iodine and haven't had a single case since.
 

buckmaster33

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I've never disinfected the tagger persay, other than keeping it clean, and have never had a single issue... but since I'm carrying the iodine with me anyway to spray the navel...pretty sure it's not going to hurt anything by spraying a little on the punch.
 

SRBeef

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novaman":v8be8u68 said:
I carry a spray bottle filled with iodine when I tag calves. Give a few squirts on the button and put the tag in. Couple years back I had a whole mess of calves get infection. Started using the iodine and haven't had a single case since.

That's one of those good ideas that makes you wonder "why didn't I think of that?"

I've been carrying the iodine squirt bottle for the navel also. Tried swabbing some iodine on the ear prior to inserting the tool and button but that did not work at all - took too long (cow nearby getting real concerned about her calf) and probably not effective anyway. I really don't like the dip idea but squirting some iodine on the button, precoated or not, sounds like a great idea. Thank you.
 

dun

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Squirting iodine on the navel strikes me as being about useless. You need to really get the thing soaked (in theory) so the the interior of the umbilicaal cord has iodine in it to prevent bacteria from migrating up like a wick. I use a teat dip cup. But I really wonder how much any of it really does since the cow promptly likcs.slurps it all off anyway
 

buckmaster33

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Oh, I think I wonder about that on every calf I spray...esp when I watch the cow lick it off right after I do it. But, I think it's one of those psychological feel good preventive things we just do because its suppose to help?! Oh, well...iodine is one of the few remaining things that is cheap, so the act of doing it doesnt bother me much.
 

msscamp

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Wisteria Farms":2h13p4v8 said:
Just wondering... do you all "swish" your tagger in disinfectant before each punch? If so, what do you use? I'm thinking there's something I can use (with the tagger loaded) that'll help guard against infection, etc. Also, is there anything wrong with NOT using the temporary calf tags?... just going straight to the big tags?

No. The tagger doesn't come in contact with the ear, so why would it be necessary to disinfect it? :? As far as the bigger tags, we've had a few calves rip ears by sticking their heads into places that they shouldn't have been. It just seemed to work out better by using the smaller tags for calves, and re-tagging as yearlings utilizing the same hole.
 

Keren

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msscamp":2cm3pewn said:
Wisteria Farms":2cm3pewn said:
Just wondering... do you all "swish" your tagger in disinfectant before each punch? If so, what do you use? I'm thinking there's something I can use (with the tagger loaded) that'll help guard against infection, etc. Also, is there anything wrong with NOT using the temporary calf tags?... just going straight to the big tags?

No. The tagger doesn't come in contact with the ear, so why would it be necessary to disinfect it? :?

Wisteria Farms":2cm3pewn said:
I meant with the tagger loaded (ready to tag) some people dip it right before punching to help prevent against infection (that way the solution gets IN the fresh punched hole).

I dont do it routinely, but sometimes when I'm running short on the male buttons to go on the back, I use old ones cut out of the ears of dead ones :oops: . Those I give a good dunk in iodine before I put them in.
 

dun

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Keren":afmukzad said:
I dont do it routinely, but sometimes when I'm running short on the male buttons to go on the back, I use old ones cut out of the ears of dead ones :oops: . Those I give a good dunk in iodine before I put them in.
I wash those with soap and water. When splash them with alcohol and put them in a plastic bag for later use.
 

dun

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Keren":3nimgl71 said:
Oops, yes, forgot to say I give them a good scrub in soapy water as well

Glad to hear I'm not the only one guilty of doing this

When I do it I consider it frugal. If someone else does it they are cheap.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Dun, I find we seem to do things a lot alike. I use a teat dip cup also. I was always told spraying was a waste of time. I dip & hold for a count of ten.
I would reuse our buttons but I don't have that special tag removing tool. Ours are ruined when we remove a tag.
I use Extra Large ear tags on newborn and everything else. Never had a problem. Too costly to retag.
 

Keren

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Jeanne - I dont have a special tool either. What I do is when they die, before we drag them up the hill for the foxes and co. to dispose of, I slice into the ear with my pocket knife and take the tag all in one piece. Serves two purposes, firstly I have a record of who has died, and secondly if you cut the front piece which has their individual id on it, you can get the button intact and use it again.
 

randiliana

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I reuse most of our tags, but rather than messing with used buttons, I just buy new ones. Seems a lot more sanitary to me. Tags get washed well though. And, I do not disinfect between animals, all buttons are new to the animal, and the tagger never comes in contact with the animal anyways. We usually don't have any problems, although we had a couple develop infections last spring. Removing the tag, and a dose of penicilling fixed the problem though. I know I can't wear any type of earring, so I presume that there would be the odd animal out there that would be allergic to the material of the ear tags.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Well, I can't reuse tags because they each have a specific number. I've saved them & tried to offer them to commercial producers, but noone wants them - have their own numbering system.
But, as you can see in the pic, the calf handles the Ex Large tags with no problem. I don't think they look funny, I think they look "cute" :banana:
 

Angus Cowman

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1ser4mlv said:
Well, I can't reuse tags because they each have a specific number. I've saved them & tried to offer them to commercial producers, but noone wants them - have their own numbering system.
But, as you can see in the pic, the calf handles the Ex Large tags with no problem. I don't think they look funny, I think they look "cute" :banana:
I use the large tags on the calves also mainly so I can see them :lol:
 

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