- The male and female tags will come to you attached as a pair. You will need to tear them apart.
- Place the flag of the female tag under the spring finger. The printed side of the female tag will be against the jaw of the applicator. Slide the male tag over the metal pin. Note: Put pressure onto the male pin of the tag until it snaps into place on the pin (pressing on the male tag “flap” doesn’t work as well). The printed side of the male tag will be against the male jaw of the applicator.
- Make sure the tag is correctly placed. Slowly squeeze the handles together to be sure the male pin aligns with the female opening (be careful to not put the tag together yet).
- Place the ear between the jaws of the applicator. While gripping the ear, quickly and firmly squeeze the handles together until the male tag is inserted through the ear and into the female tag.
Tags, especially tags for sheep, must be installed no more than 2 inches from the skull and near the center of the ear.
The opposite extreme (installing too far from the skull) will result in more lost tags as the tissue on the tip of the ear is tender and tears easily.
Be careful to avoid the large vein (shown at right).
Inserting Tags in Cold Weather
Plastic tags (all brands) are much easier to install if they are warm. Why? As the temperature drops below freezing plastic becomes less flexible (more stiff) and forcing the male point of a tag through the female take s many more lbs. of pressure (because the female must expand).
So if you care about your hands it’s a good idea to keep the tags above freezing in very cold weather. It takes very little to do this. One method is to simply store them while tagging in a small bucket, cardboard box or tool box with a lid alongside a sealed pop bottle full of warm water. The warm water will keep both the air and the tags warmer in the container.