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What do ear tags tell you? Take 1. No tag.

alacattleman

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ive seen ear tags hanging on some of the biggest dinks you ever layed eyes on.....i look at all the calf at a glance, then start at the feet and work up. the ear would be the last thing ... and thats just too see how much they got. but having said that i use em :p
 

grannysoo

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None of the big boys around here are using tags. Would I be scared to buy a calf from them at normal prices? Not in the least.

I see how they raise their animals and how they are treated and would be proud to add most any of them to my herd.

I can see some benefits of tagging, but it's not magic genie that solves all problems.
 

EAT BEEF

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Huh, I cut all the tags out of my calves before I take them to the sale barn,As I think it makes them look fresher and my numbers and codes would not make sense to anyone else anyway.It's funny that my calves have topped the market in OKC(the largest feeder calf sale in the U.S.) the last two years.


Just think how good my calves must be and what they would bring with ear tags :p
 

dun

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We cut the eartag out when we send them to the regular salebarn so I can reuse the tag in another calf. Bout all that means is that I'm cheap.
 

alacattleman

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EAT BEEF":kv4qwbry said:
Huh, I cut all the tags out of my calves before I take them to the sale barn,As I think it makes them look fresher and my numbers and codes would not make sense to anyone else anyway.It's funny that my calves have topped the market in OKC(the largest feeder calf sale in the U.S.) the last two years.


Just think how good my calves must be and what they would bring with ear tags :p
don't know,but it sounds like your leavin' money on the table ;-)
 

FarmGirl10

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twistedxranch":1f011hp5 said:
Tatertot":1f011hp5 said:
I'm surprised I never noticed this before. :lol2:


Me either.

I reckon I better tag every calf even if they are still in the womb. Reckon I reach in there and put a tag on?
Hope you got a good headlamp...might be kinda hard to find the calf without one.
 

randiliana

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This is quite interesting. Mind you, around here ALL animals have to be tagged with a RFID (CCIA) tag to be sold. So, I guess all Canadian cattle would be OK in your eyes.

Tagged or not tagged, I can't see how that tells you anything about

1. how much contact an animal had with humans. There are probably a lot of small, small herds who don't tag, because they don't need to. They KNOW each and every animal in the herd. Then, there are large herds who are all tagged. The calves are tagged at birth or branding, and that is the last time they were handled by humans, and possibly the only time they ever saw someone on foot until they were weaned.

2. how they were handled or gathered. Can't figure this one out at all. Most of us, regardless of how big we are or how we get the cattle into a corral, don't want to stress the animals much. Running them around is losing us weight, which in turn loses us money. Cattle that are used to being handled, be it on horse, by a 4-wheeler or on foot aren't generally nervous when handled in that way. Maybe you should go out and visit a few ranchers/farmers that handle cattle with horses or 4-wheelers.

3. the possibility of injury. Is always there, no matter how wild or quiet the cattle. If you can't pick out an injured animal in a larger group, maybe you need to have someone else watching too.... Most auctions won't leave an injured animal in with a group, same as a stag, or horns or whatever. Sneaking stuff in like that tends to give a bad name. Obviously stuff happens, but on the whole that isn't a good business practice.

4. Facilities to work cattle. Now how this has anything to do with whether a calf is tagged or not, I do not know. It definitely doesn't take facilities to tag a calf. Do it when they are less than a couple days old, you don't need a chute, you don't even need a corral or catch pen. Heck, you don't need a great facility to brand or even vaccinate calves in. I've seen a lot of brandings where the entire herd is run into a big catch pen (or 2). Most of the cows are sorted off, the calves are roped(by the hind legs) and dragged to the branding fire, where 2 people wrestle them to the ground and sit on them while they are branded, vaccinated and many times tagged. There may not even be a chute there. As for treating or not treating, again, it doesn't necessarily take a great facility to treat a cow, and even less of one to treat a calf. They can be roped, it is done on a lot of large ranches, where the facility may be miles away from a sick animal. And really all you need to treat is a catch pen with a chute attached to run the animal down. You don't even need a headgate.

5.Knowing whether the animal has been wormed, vaccinated or banded/castrated. Well, I think I covered that in #4. As for the banding/castrating, well, if you can't tell about that one................

6.Weaning on wheels. A lot of us do it, it has more to do with the fact of how well we do/don't get paid for preconditioning cattle. I've seen preconditioned cattle sell for a LOT less than fresh weaned calves at the same sale. Why would I spend my time, money and feed on preconditioning calves, and then make no more money than the guy that sent freshly weaned cattle to the sale???

So, I can't see how an untagged calf can mean anything more or less than a tagged calf, other than it doesn't have a tag. A tag is pretty easy to put into a baby calf, unless mama is real nasty. And in that case there are ways to deal with that that don't require a fancy facility. A truck box and a rope usually work well for these situations. Or, they can be tagged when they are vaccinated/branded. This may be the only time that calf EVER sees a human on foot up until weaning time. Genetics and the WAY the animal is handled have more to do with disposition than how OFTEN the animal is handled (or around people) Some animals just never settle. Tags can fall out, and as others have mentioned, are often removed before a sale.

We tag all our calves as they are born. The reason we tag has to do with in herd management. I want to know what my cows are doing, and it is easier to know when they are all tagged, we used to remove the tags before we sold the calves, now we don't. I'm still cheap enough to do it, but it always starts an arguement so I gave up.

I know people who tag at branding, and who don't tag at all, they have good facilities, and all their cattle are vaccinated, branded and castrated. Then again I know a few who don't tag, brand, vaccinate, deworm, castrate or dehorn. It is pretty hard to tell which is which (except for the obvious horns and nuts). I know people who are around their cattle lots and they are still wild, both tagged ones AND non tagged herds. And I know people who hardly handle their cattle, and the cattle are still quiet. Tags don't tell you anything other than that the owner wanted to ID his cattle for some reason.......
 

CattleHand

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I agree with Randi. With 200 head of cows we dont tag and I guess as you said it kind of goes into that small time farming as most of the calves are known and recognizable. All the rest of it I agree with you 100%.

To add on about 4-wheelers, we had bought 50 calves from the sale barn and always fed them using the 4-wheeler so it was what they were use to. However, if you were to walk out there on foot you would probably spook them. I can understand people wanting to put tags in their own animals to help them keep track and such but if you are around them daily and depending on your goals I dont believe they are necessary nor add any value to the animal.
 

Calman

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Gonna half to look closer at those ear tags on our cattle.I am just amazed that you can see so much in an ear tag. And a brand? Now that might just tell me the whole history and future of the cow.
All joking aside,all this info because of no ear tag is just a bunch of malarky.

My thinking Cal
 

TheBullLady

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That's pretty much one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard! Without having spent a bunch of time at an auction barn, I'm going to suggest that less than half the animals going through one in central Texas are tagged. Branded if they're older cows, but rarely tagged. A couple of reasons:

I raise registered cattle, so my cattle are NEVER tagged. Some of them go to the auction barn.. and not because they are wild or mean, but because they aren't suitable for what I'm selling them for. They are all bunk broke when they get there.

There are a lot of mesquite and brushy pastures here, so any animal with an ear tag has a high probability of losing it to a branch before they even get to a sale.

A good friend of mine is an order buyer, and has been for years, and that's never been a consideration of his.
 

aussie_cowgirl

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SirLoin2":31ko9994 said:
Randi,
Re:
This is quite interesting. Mind you, around here ALL animals have to be tagged with a RFID (CCIA) tag to be sold. So, I guess all Canadian cattle would be OK in your eyes.
NO absolutely not.
Because you are only doing it under threat of law and your tagging does not set your cattle to be different then any other cattle, as they all are required by law to carry the very same tagging.
So your RFID (CCIA) tag tells me nothing except you are incompliance with Canadian law. It tells me nothing about you or your cattle.
SL

The NLIS system is compulsory in Australia now and I know a lot of people don't tag with regular tags any more because all the information is stored on the NLIS tag. So you might not buy that animal because it has no tag but the person who does could find accurate information about weights, injection, dam, sire etc on that tag. Such as on the feed lot I worked on. We had a scanner on site so they stopped using regular tags. There was no point any more. The old tags were just another recording system for dates and injections. Animals were looked after when they were sick because we'd bring them in straight away if we saw something wrong and would leave them near the yards to keep an eye on them. We moved our cattle with quad bikes but not erratically. If we moved them erratically we'd be there all day because the mob of up to 500 cattle would scatter wouldn't they?

Unfortunately SL, because you won't buy an untagged animal, you just missed out on some really well cared for cattle.
 

3waycross

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Isn't anyone here amazed at how someone can come on here and post anything that stupid and a whole passel of intelligent and well meaning folks will spend precious minutes typing answers to him like it's gonna make a dammed bit of difference.

What an incredible waste of energy.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :frowns:
 

aussie_cowgirl

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Unfortunately SL you would have missed out, because plenty of other people would have seen the quality and would have paid top dollar.
 

tom4018

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Around here all the calves from different seller are graded and grouped together, some tagged and some not. The whole group sell for one price so tags make no difference in what the price is. The calves are graded with similar calves and grouped into a pot load if possible or just sold as how many there is.

On the other hand I do like my calves to be tagged, took a load of steers in once and watched they all get weighed guy handed me my weigh tickets and I noticed one went to a heifer pen. Told the owner and he knows me so he got a guy to go to the heifer pen and asked me the tag info, so it avoided a mix up and saved me some money as I would have got paid for a heifer.
 

CattleHand

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I think one point can be proven from all this discussion and that is the importance of being able to read cattle. DB touched on this in his thread that he has trouble judging a cow for the 30 seconds its in the ring. I think its something that all people should learn how to do very well so that they can make educated buys and become more profitable and not base their buys by the color, position, or numerical order of the tags in their ears. Its a funny thing to think about and a good laugh but there is some importance that in order to do well, you need to first learn how to judge cattle and quickly. Best way and only way that i know how to learn it is to spend some time in the sale barns
 

hillsdown

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SL you would have loved our dairy cattle. Not only did they have a tag with the dams reg # and the sires reg # as well as their own # but when they freshened they got a pretty necklace to wear around their neck with another number to boot.. :cowboy:

Oh and not to mention each had their very own HCA registration paper and DHI records to boot...And it wasn't even the law... :tiphat:
 

mnmtranching

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The only thing I will add to this is. Any one who has spent any time dealing with cattle and eartagging them should know. Ear tags are temporary. In other words do not stay in . So why would anyone that knows cattle give a crap if they have eartags at the sale. :roll:
 

backhoeboogie

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mnmtranching":25la4s9p said:
The only thing I will add to this is. Any one who has spent any time dealing with cattle and eartagging them should know. Ear tags are temporary. In other words do not stay in . So why would anyone that knows cattle give a crap if they have eartags at the sale. :roll:

Yes. A dozen or so of mine have split ears from tags getting ripped out. Mostly fly tags.
 

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