Eminent Ungulates

Cows

Most people, when they think of cows, picture them in numbers grazing contentedly on rolling green hills. That is, the average person does not see them as individuals but in the plural as cattle, as part of a herd: nameless, indistinguishable one from another, a little un-fantastical, never to be acclaimed, and certainly not destined for “great things.” Once you’ve seen one cow, you’ve seen them all, right?

Yet, don’t be fooled by their seeming docility. As any cow-owner will tell you, each has in fact a distinct personality. And while most have remained anonymous throughout the long history of human-domesticated livestock, there are those that have made their name and achieved fame, if not notoriety—from Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s prized Holstein, who once grazed the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; to fearsome Ratón, the Spanish fighting bull responsible for the death and maiming of dozens of toreadors foolish enough to face him (hence the bull’s nickname, el toro asesino, “the killer bull”).

Here are five more brilliant bovines that have made their mark on history. Continue reading

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A Brief History of Animal Tags

Greek Vase

Attic red-figure cup in the shape of a cow’s hoof and depicting a herdsman along the rim
(Source)

A family-run business for four generations, Ketchum Mfg. Co., Inc. has been manufacturing high-quality livestock and pet tagging products since 1928. But did you know that the history of our industry can be measured not just in years—but in millennia? Continue reading

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Purpose of Cattle Tags

Catttle Tags

What are Cattle Tags?

What could be seen as an added accessory — you know, bling, or earrings — cattle tags actually serve a far greater purpose. Farms can be a confusing place. Typically farms sit on a good chunk of acreage. And with that, the livestock is left to play and explore their land. Between chickens, cows and pigs, you can just imagine the chaos. Having a structured organizational system in place is important so that you can keep track of your inventory. Ear tags are an easy-to-use and simple solution for any farmer to implement.

What is the Purpose of Ear Tags?

When farm animals are born, they all look very similar. As they get older, they continue to mirror the image of their peers. Ear tags are a way for the farmers to identify who is who in their land of livestock. Think of it this with. Ear tags are similar to birth certificates. They let you know who your parents are, when you were born, what your gender is, and what vaccinations you have been given.

The Numbering System

Everyone has his or her own unique method of identification, but the most common system is the numbering system. With this system, it’s common to introduce both letters and numbers. The letter would represent the year of birth. For example, if the calf was born in 2012, it would be given the letter A, for calves born in 2013, B, and so on and so forth. The numbers following the letter could determine the litter, number born on farm, or gender. Each system is unique. Once an animal is given an identification tag, they are to rep that tag for their entire lifetime.

Other Uses for Ear Tags:

While cattle tags are the most popular, they are not the only animal to use this system. Any animal that is raised for profit is typically marked with an ear tag. Pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, and rabbits are common examples.

Animals can also be tagged for research purposes. Flocks of geese or endangered species may be tagged in order to determine migration patterns.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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