Ear Tags

May 30, 2014

We are waiting on B14, and no, it is not a vitamin.  B14 will be the ear tag on our new calf, well…our only calf…for now…

Almost all of my cattle education has come from Our Friend the Farmer, who was Cattleman of the Year, (yes I am sort of bragging).  He pretty much didn’t know he’d be playing teacher to a middle-aged-cow-loving-novice when we moved in, but so far I think it has been good for him, a bit like comic relief, plus we like to feed him and we all know My Loving Spouse is a great cook.

We are watching Agnes closely now as her ‘time’ is coming.  Our job currently is to see if she is ‘bagging up’.  This will be the first sign that labor or calving is near.  Even if you do not live on a farm, you should be able to imagine which part of the cow’s anatomy bags up, if not just ask a very, very pregnant friend (I don’t recommend you ask someone who is not your friend, that would be weird).

After the calf is born, we will give it an ear tag.  Ear tagging is important, as it is like their name and you can keep your records about when you gave who their shots and who was born from whom, etc.  Our Friend the Farmer has a very good system, tagging the new-born calves the same number as their Mamma’s so if something comes up, he knows exactly who goes with who.  He has a color for the bulls and a different color for the heifers…  I’ve been trying to talk him into buying pink and blue, but surprisingly, he doesn’t seem to care very much about what color they are, just as long as there are enough tags or if they are on sale.  When he weans the calves, they get new ear tags, their grown up ear tags.

agnes3.picmHe uses the first number to align with the year of their birth and all of that year get the same color, so our heifer Agnes was born in 2012.  He then just numbers them 1 to whatever.  So, I have our system all ready to go….Agnes needs a new tag which will be A12, as in Agnes born in 2012, then we will work our way through the alphabet, so we are waiting on B14…our calf will either be Bessie or Bob born in 2014!

I’ve never pierced anyone’s ear or even tagged a cow for that matter, I maybe might need some help.

Can you imagine how much I LOVED this birth announcement!!!


No, this is NOT…THE Grandchild, because

a.  He is not born yet

b.  I don’t know how to crochet a hat

c.  The kids would NEVER let me do this

…but you know I LOVED this as soon as I saw it, so well done!

I want to give ALL the credit to where it came from at American Cattlemen on Facebook.

Now, I’ve got to go and see if Agnes is bagging up….



  • Anonymous

    Hi, Ellen!

    I’m usually a lurker on your blog, but you share my love for cows and grandbabies, so I had to share a discovery. I did a lot of searching for the perfect stuffed animal to give my newborn granddaughter, and came across a company called Jellycat from the UK. They aren’t that old, but their plush animals are getting rave reviews. I bought the Bashful Bunny (http://www.amazon.com/Jellycat-Bashful-Beige-Bunny-Medium/dp/B00163U4LK), and sources tell me it’s my granddaughter’s absolute favorite thing. Soooo soft and adorable.

    I thought you might be interested to know that the company also makes a Bashful Calf, which is the cutest thing ever. Just in case your grandson needs a cuddly buddy. http://www.amazon.com/Bashful-Calf-Md-12-Jellycat/dp/B001D7ETX8

    • Ellen

      I think I need to check it out!!

    • Ellen

      All ordered! However, I did discover that they had TWO different calves to chose from and feel in love with the face on Fuddlewuddle calf. Thank you for your recommendation, I am sure this will not be my last calf purchase!

  • Diane Brown

    Can’t wait to see the birth announcement for Bessie or Bob!

    • Ellen

      Oh, gosh, I didn’t think about that!!! Great idea!

  • Gallion

    You all are just a hoot! I really love what you are doing and the excitement your new life generates. Be it ever so humble there is nothing like knowledge…

  • Miriam

    Breathlessly waiting for the new little cowlet to be born.

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