Inserting ear tags in lambs ears

How ear tags can help you—

1. To indicate sex. 2. To indicate year of birth. 3. To indicate sire (and dam). 4. To indicate single, twin or triplet. 5. To indicate problems.

We specialize in custom imprinting—numbers, farm names, brands and logos.

1. To indicate sex


  1. Allows rapid sorting by sex while sheep and goats are moving down a chute or in a holding pen.
  2. No need to get your hands dirty or spend valuable time to “check the plumbing” of each animal.

To do this:

  • Ears of males: Insert primary tag in left ear.
  • Ears of females: Insert primary tag in right ear.

2. To indicate year of birth

Benefit: No need to catch them to check teeth. A tag will tell you the age from 25 ft away. Faster decisions when sorting for culling or breeding.

Two ways to do this (we do both):

  1. Use a different color for each year.
  2. Begin tag number series with the year of birth. (Ex. tag 7275 indicates lamb is the 275th lamb tagged in 2007.)

3. To indicate sire (and dam)

Benefit: No need to check records for breeding decisions.

Three ways to do this:

  1. Use a different color second tag for each sire (ex. blue tags = Sire XYZ; purple tags = Sire ABC).
  2. Have sire name printed on the tag of its progeny.
  3. Hand-write the ewe’s tag number with a marking pen on the lamb’s tag. If space is limited write it on the inner surfaces of the tag.

Note: Since tags can be lost, we strongly advise using 2 sire/dam tags (one in each ear).

4. To indicate single, twin or triplet

Benefit: Speeds up sorting for breeding and sale purposes. Reduces need to keep and/or consult records.

To do this: Use a different color for each lamb type. Repeat this color year after year.

Premier’s code is:

  • blue = single
  • green = twin
  • orange = triplet

5. To indicate problems

Benefit: Allows rapid, positive culling of animals with foot problems, dystocia, mastitis, prolapse, etc.

Two ways to do this:

  1. Snap a black tag into every problem animal.
  2. Use an ear notcher to mark the animal.


Premier's black applicator installs Premier Easy Tags, 2X, 2Xte, 5X and Button tags.

PREMIER TIP: If you use tags in your breeding flock, it’s wise to install a tag in both ears when they are baby lambs. Why? Because lamb wounds heal quicker with less infection risk than adult animals do—and it thus provides a pre-existing, clean, firm hole when a larger tag is installed.

View video using Premier Easy Tags.

Click here to see ear tags.