We have used Allflex Maxi's for years and they have worked great. We change them out to the Super Maxi's on the replacement females.
I am doing the same as you and trying out the Z-Tag feedlot tags this year as they are half the price and they threw in a free tagger. Seeing as we will change them out on the replacements anyway, I figured I might as well save on the calf tags.
We have always used Allflex and have seen most of the other brands in cattle we have purchased over the years. None seem to last forever and even if they do they either fade or the hair in some cows ears can sure cover them. Especially as you are trying to read it to get the number for the calf's tag. Last year I got behind on my calf tagging when I worked a booth at the local bull sale and couldn't catch up so I decided to quit and about the last third never got tagged. We are only running commercial cows so it isn't that important to tag anyways. This year we think we will only tag a calf if we need to know who it is and the rest will only get their RFID tags when we brand. I have always been too proud to let a cow run me off when I tag her calf but sooner or later I will pay for it so along with being lazy and the low input trail we are going down this for us seems to make sense. I wonder if anybody else has come to this same conclusion or if they can name a few pros and cons?
long neck Z calf tags and allflex CCIA tags at branding. In the order they go down the chute.
Replacement heifers are done with a DNA tag when they are branded, and then a steel ketchum tag when they are AI'ed into the cowherd.
SMAN calves get one color of Z tag and the AN calves get a white tag. They keep that tag for life.
If I need to know parentage, I pull hair or a DNA plug on the calf and send it to the lab (all replacement heifers are done). Our whole commercial cowherd and all our sires have DNA in the lab.
Calves this year will be 2000 series, last year 1000 series. By the time I get back to the 1000 series it will be 10 years and I can always change colors.
I got a bright idea from a friend the other day and may tag steers with the floppy in the left ear and heifers in the right to increase sorting speeds.
One thing I have to say is that everybody seems to have trouble with tags fading. This isn't an issue for us. We use y-tex marking in a small bottle with little tip that just needs to be depressed. It takes longer than a pen so we just do the replacements tags with it. We still use a pen on calves tag as they only need to last one year.
we use z tags feed lot tag at birth . We mostly ship off the cow ,So in the fall working replacement heifers get 2 # tags & anything that will stay home & get fed . Makes it simple on shipping day . Replacement heifers get 2 new cow ztags when the go to grass & are freeze branded .
The feedlot ztags have worked great so far .
This response is for C Thompson. Since I started calving on grass I have quit tagging calves. I saves me an hour or two of labor per day on average plus it eliminates the whole herd getting stirred up in the calving pasture. It's amazing how fast those little suckers get up and get going. My advice is to not hold on to too many old practices and traditions if there is a better and easier way to do things. The only reason I used to tag is to fix screw ups after a blizzard anyway. Plus it saves money. Those are the pros to not tagging anymore.
Usually only tag the PB's and they sometimes get brought in as pairs on horseback a couple at a time. Last year I tagged some of the Hfrs calves as I needed a package of pairs to haul up to another pasture. I haven't tagged commercial calves since the last time they were Z's.
i tag all the calves at birth with the cow Z tags, they are much easier to read from a distance.
i may not tag the bull calves this year but for sure will tag the heifer calves. makes replacement selections much easier when i know who the mother is, rather then just pickin the "purdy" ones. :wink:
Y-tex mediums for all the calves. The long necks make them easy to read right up through yearlings. White for heifers, orange for bulls/steers. Same # as their mama. Any heifers we keep will get changed over to a Y-tex large tag sometime between yearling and 2 year old. Usually before we go to grass in the spring.
When we used to tag we got tired of tag loss and trying to come up with new numbers. and then you lost data on the cow. So we went to number branding with a hot iron. Most guys around here now are going to freeze branding 3 digit numbers.
Last few years i didn't tag, but this year we tagged mine and a few of my one sons to show ownership when the calf is born and I will ear mark so we know who's brand to put on. we have the fewest cows, so it seemed the simplest.
I think most tag because they have for some many years, it's become tradition.
Sorting heifer calves while they are mothered up is a good way to ,get good calves. As we have been keeping as many heifer calves back as we can, it's not a big deal. If I could, I would retain all heifer calves. ruff them through, turn out the bulls on July 10th or 15 and take bulls out after 21 to 30 days and let mother nature decide which will make the best cows. :wink:
Z-tag feedlot tags, they are light weight, large enough to read, and stay in great. Allflex if now making tags just like z-tags that can even be applied witht the z-tagger if that says anything about how good z-tags are.
Have been using engravable Ritchey tags for over 20 years and have always had pretty good luck with them. We put the medium size in calves when they are born with their dam's # on the bottom, and the sires I.D. on the top. When the heifers are kept for replacements they then get a Large tag with their permanent number starting with the year their born, dams # in the middle, and sire I.D. on the top, so you know a cows history just by looking at the tag. Makes it nice indentifying sires that produce good heifers, and one's that don't. One plus is the tags never fade, the one negative is you have to have an engraving tool to make the tag, and the portable ones don't do a real good job of engraving because of too low of R.P.M.'s to cut them well. We have to tag all of our calves because we record birthweight's , A.I. a bunch of cows and then pair off bulls from heifer's for the summer, and cull heavy for performance and flaws. That's why Big Swede doesn't have to tag his, because we've tried to eliminate all the problems before he get's his bull battery from us!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Lots of good reasons to tag calves for a variety of reasons. But not good enough for me to continue at this time here for a couple of reasons. I mentioned earlier that I was too proud to let a cow chase me off her calf so have put myself foolishly in harms way too many times. Now that we aren't spending any of our time haying, harrowing or feeding more than once per week when we do feed it has given us more time to question our habits and to look for smarter and or less expensive ways to get things done. Or wonder if the reason it needs done in the first place is still valid as we make other changes? For this lazy man I don't think anyone other than the cow needs to identify her calf on our place unless we either go to purebred cattle or some other reason I haven't yet learned from you all outweighs the safety issues that we all are aware of. Thanks for your encouragement and comments Big Swede.