Recently there have been some comments posted on the Pygmy Goat Chat Group about torn ears, caused by inappropriate (?) eartags. I suggested that the tags that had been applied were possibly unsuitable for the very small ears of a pygmy kid. My own experience, after experimenting with different tags, is that the smaller lamb tags with a finer ‘stem’ are ideal. Firstly they are kinder to the kid as they punch a much smaller hole through the ear. Secondly, if you snip the tag (which comes as a one piece wrap around) so that it hangs in 2 pieces either side of the ear, there is much less chance of the ear being torn because if the kid gets it caught (usually in a fence or hayrack) then one side of the tag simply feeds through the hole and you end up with an empty hole in the ear. Several of my kids have done this and it means I have to replace with a new tag but it is a very simple (and painless task) because you can use the same hole. Much better than a torn ear in my opinion. I have used the DEFRA website to find their approved suppliers/manufacturers of eartags and will list below the ones which sell tags suitable for sheep & goats. The tags which I now use for my kids (and would recommend) are called ‘D-tags’ and I get them from Daltons Ltd. They are available from some of the other suppliers listed below (marked with a + ) but may be sold under a different name.

Approved Suppliers

http://www.agriflex.co.uk/sheep.htm

http://www.allflex.co.uk/items/products/products_sheep.htm

http://www.coxagri.com/index.html

http://www.dalton.co.uk/

http://www.denimex.co.uk/

http://www.ewtag.com/index.htm

http://www.greenfarmhealth.co.uk/new-sheep-ear-tags

http://www.ketchums.co.uk/page3.htm

http://www.thetags4u.com/gb/product.php?productid=16284&cat=283&page=1 (called ‘supersmall’ tag)

http://www.fearing.co.uk/new_tag_sheep.cns?cID=10

http://www.quicktag.co.uk/sheep_products.aspx?species=sheep&region=Uk Mainland + (called ‘Easytag’)

http://www.ritchey.co.uk/Sheep-Tags/default.aspx

http://www.shearwell.co.uk/catalogue/sheeptags.aspx

http://www.symtag.co.uk/pages/sheeptags

There are a few other suppliers listed on the Defra website but they do not have websites, also some others which only seem to sell cattle tags. Below is a link to the Defra web page which lists all the suppliers; http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/movements/sheep/eartag-makers.htm

Hilary Breakell