By Dawn Caldwell
Try to Google “cattle tattoos.” Wow! There is some less than attractive body art out there! No, my farmwife body is NOT a canvas for any permanent creativity. I am usually pretty adventurous, but when it comes to putting something on my skin that won’t come off and more importantly, won’t look nearly as amazing in 10 or 20 years, I just can’t do it. I remember when I was 16, one of my classmates drew a gorgeous sword with a rose stem wrapped around it on my arm while we were bored in school. My parents were getting our house sided a the time and one of the workers putting the siding on was just sure I had ditched school and got a tattoo. HAHA! I guarantee, if I had, it certainly would not have been where my parents could see it!
OK – in regards to cattle management, we really do tattoo part of our cattle. Dictionary.com defines tattoo as:
This calf’s tattoos won’t win any contests and certainly won’t catch anyone’s attention as it walks by….kind of plain and boring!
Tattoos will be checked at shows to verify that the animal entered is the animal being presented. Tattoos can also be used if ear tags are lost. Pedigrees are very important in registered cattle, so verifying animal identity is equally as important.