Friday, October 1, 2010

Name Tags

There seem to have been so many natural disasters or emergencies lately that we started thinking more about how to identify our animals. A few weeks ago there was a fire that evacuated a whole town. First responders let animals out of their pens and pastures so that they could hopefully flee the fire.

Many of those families can't locate or prove that animals are theirs. That is a worrisome thing for us!

I checked out microchipping the animals. It costs $25 or more to have a veterinarian do it. If we want to do it ourselves we have to order the supplies in bulk. That would bring the cost of the microchips down to $9 an animal. But we would have to buy 100 microchips.

The next best thing is to put dog tags on. Actually, I think the dog tags are probably the smartest way to go since people don't automatically assume that a farm animal, like a goat, would have a microchip.

I found a great site online called Love Your Pet. I ordered 9 tags for $30 including shipping. I placed my order on a Friday afternoon and the tags arrived on Wednesday, only 5 days later!

I was able to put the animal's name, our family name, our phone number, our veterinarian's name, and his phone number on the tags. There was one more line that I didn't use, I guess I could have put "Welcome Home Farm" on the other line, but I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking about the most important information I could put on the tag so that the animals could be returned in an emergency.

The tags came taped to a paper with the key rings to attach them to collars. 
All the permanent animals now have tags. I decided not to tag Jack, the wether, or the sheep because if we get them back, that's nice, but if we don't I'm sure they will have a nice home somewhere else, too. Those are also the animals that we tend to place in new homes, not keep here forever. I didn't tag the llama or the huarizo because they don't wear collars. I don't know if anyone would be able to catch them if they got out, either. Two of the tags were for the dogs.

Annie sporting her new jewelry!
I don't like to put those key ring style attachments on because they are hard to get onto the collar. But I like them much better than the "S" hook attachments. We've had dogs that get stuck on a leash or something else and the "S" hook opens up and the ID tag is gone. The key ring style attachments seem to be more permanently attached.

Rosie sporting her new jewelry!
I like the tags because they are right on their collar and highly visible. As long as the collar is on the goat, someone will be able to contact us or our vet and we can get our animal back.

Just a little peace of mind and it only cost $30.


Marie said...

What about tatooing or freeze branding? That would be permentant and easy to keep records of. I would be worried about any animal wearing a collar around their neck, and if their is a high stress situation like a fire or flood where animals are in a panic it would be more likely that animal would go into situations where it normally would not and get caught by the collar.

Linda said...

That is GREAT idea! I think I will do this also in the near future... thanks for the timely tip!

TJ said...

Our goats are all tattooed, but if there is a problem and the papers are burned in a fire or something, that won't help. We don't tattoo the dogs :-) I've heard of freeze branding--but I haven't done any research on it yet. That might be a good way to go in the future.

I know alot of goat owners worry about collars. We haven't had trouble so far.... Not saying that we won't ever have trouble, but we like the collars for milking as well as for moving them from one place to another quickly and easily.

The other thought on collars is that if there is a problem we could get our animals loaded quickly.
One of the families that was evacuated couldn't get their animals (goats, alpacas, and llamas) loaded because the animals were panicking. They couldn't catch them because they weren't wearing a 'handle'.

The other reason I decided on tags was that we live in a suburban area. If our goats somehow manage to get out, anyone that finds them will have a very easy time finding out who they belong to.

Actually, most families in the area call us if they find any animal! They assume we either own it (most of the time we don't) or that we know the family that owns it (often we do--even dogs).

I would say we are doubly covered right now--the goats have tattoos, but they also have highly visible ID tags.