Tips and tricks

Cattle identification: chipping, tagging

Chipping of cattle is an important part of zootechnical accounting at livestock farms. In the early stages of the development of this branch of agriculture, the only purpose of cattle tags was to recognize animals by belonging to a particular farm. Today, such labels should contain much more information.

Importance of accounting for cattle breeding

Today, tags on modern livestock farms are a mandatory measure for zootechnical registration. Immediately after the birth of the calf, it is assigned an individual number, as well as a nickname.

Cattle identification allows:

  • distinguish between cows in a herd during inventory;
  • keep statistics when tracking the main indicators of animal health (body weight, height, milk yield);
  • register insemination;
  • take into account the dates of the survey;
  • plan the consumption of feed, vitamin supplements;
  • record important information during breeding work.

Cattle identification is useful for the veterinary service. It takes into account:

  • infectious diseases of animals;
  • livestock vaccination data;
  • information about laboratory tests;
  • the formation of groups of individuals with positive analyzes for some diseases.

In addition, the identification of cattle allows for the rationing and accounting of wages for farm workers.

Cattle identification methods

Identification is a method of accounting for cattle and other agricultural animals, which consists in assigning an individual number by tagging. Over the history of the development of animal husbandry, many effective methods of marking have accumulated, from the most primitive to modern ones (chipping).

The most popular methods for identifying cattle:

  • chipping;
  • tagging;
  • branding;
  • plucking.

Each of the methods has both advantages and disadvantages.

Chipping cattle

Cattle chipping is the electronic identification of farm animals. It is the most modern identification method today. Chipping appeared relatively recently, at the end of the twentieth century. When chipping began to spread, it immediately became popular in many farms.

Chipping of cattle provides:

  • fast, painless procedure;
  • simplicity of execution (advantage of the method for personnel);
  • securing individual information for life;
  • no possibility of loss or alteration of identification data.

There is a huge economic benefit to beef identification by chipping:

  • does not require re-carrying out the procedure as a result of loss or damage;
  • during the pledge procedure, insurance, treatment, feeding, cattle cannot be confused;
  • it simplifies the search for cattle in case of theft.

Chipping is the process of implanting a small electrical device (microchip) under the skin of an animal in the neck. The chip consists of an inductor and a microcircuit. The process is carried out with a disposable syringe, in which a capsule with a microchip is placed. Bioglass prevents the development of rejection or any other reaction of the body to a foreign body after chipping. The microchip implantation procedure is painless for cattle and quick in time, reminiscent of the usual vaccination. Disposable syringe, device, unique identification 15-digit number on 6 stickers, included in the chipping kit.

Subsequent identification of cattle is carried out using a scanning device. To determine the individual number, it is enough to bring the scanner closer to the implantation site of the microchip and the information is displayed on the screen, the device emits a sound signal.

Attention! An important part of chipping is the database. It allows you to take into account, systematize all the necessary information about animals.

The disadvantage of chipping cattle is a somewhat expensive method when used on small farms.


Tagging also refers to simple identification methods. This is a fairly popular method in modern farms. Cattle ear tags with a special applicator are used in a special way. The upper edge of the cow's ear is pierced with an applicator, while the tag is fixed automatically, the needle in the device is disposable.

The tag can be double or single, of different colors, shapes, sizes, depending on the requirements of zootechnical accounting.

The composition of the tag is thermoplastic polyurethane. It does not cause allergic reactions and does not irritate the skin of calves and adults.

There is a big drawback of this identification method - often the cattle are ripped off the tags during careless movement. An alternative is nose rings and collars.


Branding is an ancient traditional way of marking cattle. Until now, many people use a red-hot iron to brand. It displays the identification number of the individual.

For dairy cattle, farmers prefer to use cold-branding.

The cold stamping procedure is carried out with liquid nitrogen, in which metal numbers are preliminarily immersed, followed by application to the skin of the cattle. The identification number of the animal appears after a few days.

There are certain rules for performing this procedure:

  • strong fixation is required;
  • you should decide in advance on the place of the stamp;
  • the wool in this area is cut;
  • the place of setting the hallmark is washed and disinfected;
  • the exposure time should be fixed - 10 seconds for young cows, 60 seconds for adult cows.

Failure to comply with these standards may make the individual numbers illegible.

Of the advantages of this method, the owners note the quality, durability of the brand, and the absence of damage to the skin. There are also disadvantages: competent fixation of the cow is required.


Plucking on the ears is a classic method of tagging; it has been successfully used on farms for a long time. The popularity of the method is explained by the good viewing of the data, the reliability of the tags, and their subsequent safety. In addition, punctures are not expensive.

The pluck is made with special tools - forceps or a hole punch, which leave the required number of punctures on the skin, the same as its unique number. Tags can be put in various shapes.

This marking has its own characteristics: the puncture site is selected, taking into account the passage of the blood vessels. Before the procedure, the forceps must be disinfected and then proceed to the execution of punctures of a certain shape.

For modern, large complexes, special collars and anklets are effective.

The responder serves to identify cattle. They attach it to the cow with collars. A number is printed on the panel of the device, which is transmitted to the operator. This device allows you to keep the herd under control.

A rescounter is a device with a much wider range of functions. It identifies the cow while walking, passing through the frame to the milking parlor or sorting parlor. The device allows you to see milk yield, monitor feed.

Veterinary rules for the identification and registration of animals

The Ministry of Agriculture posted on its portal the text of the draft veterinary rules for the identification and registration of animals. The developers took into account not only farm animals, but also fur animals, fish, bees, domestic animals.

Each animal at birth or imported into the country is immediately assigned its own identification number, these data will be entered into a special database.

When registering, it is recommended to enter a nickname, pedigree, breed, place of birth, place of detention, as well as information about the owner. Further, the data will be replenished with information about vaccinations, diseases, transportation. It is proposed to issue a paper passport if desired.

For the marking of cattle, strict time limits must be established - two weeks from the date of birth or import into the territory of Russia. Unique numbered tags should be placed on the ears, while the additional information tag should be placed on the left ear only.


Chipping cattle is an important part of a farmer's job. With the correct establishment of the identification process, the event brings enormous economic benefits and greatly facilitates the work of livestock specialists and veterinary specialists.

Watch the video: Gathering cattle! (June 2021).