Proper placement of the EID tag in the cow’s ear can aid in preventing infection and help with tag retention. A recent conversation one of our customer service reps had with a customer about this spurred me to address the topic of best practices for EID tag placement for dairy cows.
The customer was a first time EID user and had recently purchased the Pocket DHI-Plus RFID system to better manage herd inventory, vet check, and shot tasks.
He had purchased some animals that already had EID tags and so he replicated the placement of the EID tag he saw on those purchased cows on his own cows that were getting EID tag applied for the first time. Then, later he noticed some infection at the application site on some of his cows. As he discussed this with a member of our staff the question of tag placement came up and I was drawn into the discussion.
Where is the best place to apply the EID tag in a cow’s ear?
The best placement is in the middle of the ear between the two cartilage ribs, 2/3 of the way from the outside of the ear—1/3 from the head.
Below, is an illustration provided by Allflex that shows proper placement:
Here are a few tips for the application:
- Make sure the application area is clean prior to tagging
- Be sure to keep some “air space” between the EID tag and the ear to allow for proper healing and retention after application
- Some even recommend dipping the tag applicator in disinfectant between each application
By applying the EID tag in the proper location, you will find better long-term retention of the tag. The tag is less likely to get caught on metal stanchions and lock ups or wire fencing. Tags placed on the top or outer portion of the ear can be problematic and get caught more easily in fencing.
Using the proper tagger for applying the EID tag is critical to a good tagging experience. Allflex offers a few different applicator choices depending on your needs. Have you ever tagged a couple hundred cows or more cows in a day? If you have, you know that a spring-loaded EID tagger is much more effective than some traditional taggers. Your forearms and wrists will thank you!
For more information and to watch a video about using EID tags, you can visit the Amelicor EID Cattle Tags webpage.
Amelicor is an authorized master distributor of Allflex EID tags, visual tags, and accessories. Contact us for your EID tag needs and orders and we can help you out. For orders call us at 800-992-1344.