The practice of tattooing involves placing an indelibly permanent mark in a concealed area, such as the ears of an animal. In this tattoo there is a pattern of black ink imbedded in the bare skin that depicts numbers or letters, generally on the inside of the ear. If properly done, a tattoo is as distinctive as a brand and complies with most animal identification law requirements, as well as breed regulations.
As long as the proper equipment, permanent tattoo ink, and procedure are used, the tattoo will be legible and permanent. Inferior quality ink may be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing it to fade.
Cattle Ear Tattoo Equipment
1. Tattoo pliers: The dies are compatible with a variety of individual 3/8″ easy-change character dies that cannot be inverted. They contain nickel-plated steel needles that are set on a fiberglass reinforced nylon base and come as numbers and letters.
2. Black tattoo ink is used on skin with normal pigmentation, while green tattoo ink is used on animals with dark pigmentation.
3. Needles: They pierce the skin to make clear and readable marks.
Advantages of Tattooing Cattle
#1. This system has the same permanence as a brand—it is only applied once in an animal’s lifetime as a brand.
#2. If the correct tools and materials are used, branding is quicker and simpler and requires less preparation and infrastructure than branding.
#3. It is suitable for all animal species, no matter how small or large.
#4. In terms of equipment and consumables and time, the cost is lower than branding. It can be used by itself, or as a backup to other identification systems.
#5. In contrast to branding, the animal’s skin is not damaged in this process, and the material is inactive, so the effect is neutral.
#6. The animal experiences less pain and stress than with branding. This treatment is suitable for all livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, game animals, and even dogs.
Disadvantages of Tattooing
#1. It is inconspicuous and is readable when closely examined. The animal is typically restrained in a choker, neck clamp or passage.
#2. It works less well with darkly pigmented animals and animals with woolly ears.
#3. When being tattooed, the animal is restrained, similar to but less so than when being branded.
#4. Defacing or altering is easier and less obvious than with a brand.
#5. As a result of poor sanitation, there is a chance of infection or disease transfer between animals. This might be reduced if proper hygiene is followed.