Benefits of Cattle Tags and Electronic Identification
Cattle identification has both visual and management benefits. By identifying your cattle individually with cattle ear tags, you (and others) can more easily determine which cow is which. In addition, being able to track an animal’s history and performance helps you determine which ones are performing well.
The continuous need for improvement in management and production practices is contributing to the increasingly popular use of electronic ID/RFID cattle tags in the cattle industry. EID tags are small “button-like” tags that are placed in the ear. Each EID tag has a unique 15-digit number printed on it, and the number can also be read by scanning the tag with an EID reader. These tags are designed to last for the life of the animal.
Using Electronic ID tags has many advantages. One is that it offers another form of identification for each animal. Sometimes visual tags get lost, become snagged on a fence, etc, whereas EID tags are small and are designed for high retention rates. Another plus is that an animal can more easily be identified (by scanning the tag with a reader) rather than needing to have the animal be completely still to read a visual tag or tattoo number. Scanning EID tags rather than writing down EID numbers is a tremendous benefit in saving time and minimizing errors. As cattle are being worked or loaded into a trailer, their EID tag can be scanned while they are on the move.
CattleMax and RFID Readers
EID tag manufacturers, such as Allflex, offer the ability to download an electronic list of EIDs with your order. CattleMax is able to download these EID lists directly into the software, where the records are automatically linked (if the EID list includes visual IDs) or you choose the animal record to link for each EID entry. Purchasing “matched pair sets” from an EID vendor eliminates the need for cattle to be handled just to record which cattle receive what EID tag.
Matched pair tags are a combination of an EID tag and a visual tag. Both the EID and visual tag have the same EID number printed on them. This is especially helpful in situations where a herd management software, such as the CattleMax software is being used. You are able to look-up animals by their visual ID or electronic ID, and also helps be able to easily download an animal’s EID number by matching their visual number.
Downloading scanned EIDs provides greater flexibility
Leading cattle electronic ID readers include a memory capability that allows for storing of scanned electronic ID values that can later be downloaded onto a computer. This feature is highly recommended, as it reduces the need for additional equipment or computer at the pens or working chute just to see the EID number.
After working cattle, you can download the list of EIDs that were scanned right into CattleMax, and even apply events such as medical treatments or update pasture locations for the cattle that were worked.
Generating orders for electronic ID tags to ensure quality
Being able to quickly generate a list of visual ID entries from CattleMax is also a helpful feature for ranches to implement EID tags. Ranches that already have visual IDs for their cattle and want to make the downloading of corresponding EID entries much easier can supply the EID manufacturer with a list of visual tags, which the EID vendor then supplies you with a list of EIDs to easily match to your existing visual IDs.
Where to buy Cattle Tags and EID / RFID Readers
Cattlesoft is an authorized reseller for Allflex EID readers and tags. For more information including ordering, visit us online at The Cattle Tags Store.