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5 Best Cattle Ear Tags in 2024 – Reviews & Analysis

Last Updated: 25.02.24


Top Ear Tags for Cows – Guide & Comparison


If you are interested in the best cattle ear tags on the market, you’ve come to the right place. In case you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, this short paragraph will tell you what you need to know. After going through customer reviews, expert opinions, and social media activity, we discovered that the M.Z.A Cattle Ear Tags Numbered is the model that deserves all the praise. You will receive 100 ear tags that can be used not just for cows, but also for other livestock, like sheep, goats, or pigs. The colors of the tags are bright and easy to see in the fur or wool so you won’t have any problems with that. The material is also highly durable. In case you can’t find them anymore, we also believe that the Livestocktool Identification Blank is a model that will live up to your expectations.



Comparison Table


The Good
The Bad



5 Best Cattle Ear Tags (Reviews) in 2024



Managing your livestock should not be difficult, and identification methods are plenty. Ear tags are one such method, and many manufacturers are offering them. If you don’t know what to choose, we have here some excellent recommendations that will not let you down.



1. M.Z.A Cattle Ear Tags Numbered

The market for cattle ear tags is surprisingly big as you can find this product in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the smallest to the largest ones, from rectangular and triangular to squares. You can even pick your favourite colour as M.Z.A. Cattle Ear Tags Numbered is available in different colors.

You may choose from four available colors – blue, red, green, or yellow, as all four of them have a pleasant shade but they are also flashy enough so that you can see them. No matter how thick the wool or fur of the animal is, you can pick this option because the number will pop through the wool properly without any problems that other similar products may have.

The product also has several other important features that you won’t want to miss so we’ve mentioned them below.



The item is made from durable material. All tags are created out of quality plastic and they are resistant to fading. They are also softer, more durable, and more flexible.

You are allowed to use your very own standard installers in order to insert the ear tags as you also have pins included in the package with numbers ranging from 001 to 100. 

The product is good for keeping an eye on your farm animals, regardless if you are talking cows, goats, sheep, hogs, and so on, as the tags can be used on all of them.

A feature that makes these tags usable for so many animals is their size (3” L x 2.4” W) which means that you will have the appropriate size to use for a large number of animals.



There were very few complaints about this product with the only real highlight, so to say, being an opinion that mentioned that the print is too light to read from a distance.

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2. Livestock Identification Blank Ear Tags for Goats Sheep Cattle Cows Pigs Precision Ear Tags


Some people prefer cheap cattle ear tags, especially if they have large livestock population they need to manage. For them, this particular model may be just the right catch since it is priced more reasonably than others on the market. But you won’t make a good deal just because these are cheap. There are other advantages to consider.

For instance, they are made from TPU and very soft. That means that they won’t hurt your cows’ ears, and the animals will tolerate them. At the same time, they are durable, and you won’t need replacements any time soon.

While there is no applicator included, you will find the tags easy to use with any professional applicators available. The tags come in five different colors for you to choose from. Since the colors are vibrant, you will be able to notice them from afar. Also, the manufacturer vouches that they will not fade away quickly.



The TPU material used for the tags doesn’t corrode or rust, and offers you the ideal way to tag your animals without any risk for their health.

Regardless of whether you will want to get one package or more, you will get a good deal, as these tags are quite cheap.

Due to the bright colors used for the tags, they are easy to see with the naked eye, and you will be able to identify your cows with ease.

Overall, they are quite durable, and they will serve you for a long time without any need for replacements.

You can use any professional applicator, as these tags are compatible with models you can easily find on the market.



There are some minor complaints about the male end of some tags being challenging to puncture through, but this issue seems to repeat only once in a while, and not for every item.

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3. Ytex 3 Star Medium Cattle ID Ear Tags Pink Numbered


For cows and their calves, these pink ear tags are an ideal choice. The bright color will let you see where the young ones are from a fair distance, and overall, you will like the look on this model. Unlike metal tags that can be a nuisance for animals, these are made from a unique type of polyurethane.

Each tag is soft and flexible, and your cows won’t be bothered. Plus, because they don’t rust or corrode, they are not a health risk, like metal tags can be. The long ribbed neck makes the tags more visible, and you will like how well they keep in place.

The Snap-Lok collar ensures that each tag stays in place. You won’t have issues with cows and calves losing their tags. Because each button will make a small hole in the animal’s ear, there will be only a bit of discomfort, and the area will heal well fast.



The vibrant pink color of the ear tags is easy to spot from afar, letting you keep your livestock organized without a problem.

A lot of care and attention was put in making these ear tags so that the animals are not hurt in any way, the long ribbed neck being solid proof in this respect.

Also, the long ribbed neck increases the visibility of the tags, besides the bright color picked by the manufacturer.

Your cows’ ears will heal well and quickly, as the small incision needed for the tag to go through will not represent a health issue.

The sanitary button tip prevents infection, and it is another way to show the excellent craftsmanship of these ear tags.



Seeing how there are only 25 pieces in each bag, these ear tags appear to be more expensive compared to other models available on the market.

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4. 100 Pack Livestocktool Ear Tags For Pig Sheep Cattle Identification Plastic Blank Tags


One thing that makes this model stand out is that in each pack you will find 100 custom cattle ear tags that you can use to individualize your cattle from other livestock population. The manufacturer offers some information on what you should do to have yours customized with numbers or other details.

They come in various colors, so you can pick more than one pack and manage your cows based on multiple criteria. Because the ear tags are laser engraved, they don’t lose their color, and that means that they will serve the purpose of efficiently managing your livestock for a long time.

A combination of TPU and copper, these ear tags are safe for your cows. The TPU material is flexible and soft, while the copper earrings will not rust or corrode. Also, they will hold well in place, and they won’t be easy to snag away.



The most significant advantage offered by this model is that you can choose from a wide variety of colors, and you can also customize the ear tags as you like.

Due to the vibrant colors picked by the manufacturer, you will not have any issues with seeing your cows from a distance and identifying them when mixed with other livestock populations.

You will like that the soft and flexible TPU material will not hurt your cows’ ears and will keep corrosion and rust at bay.

Also, the earrings are made from copper, and they won’t cause any troubles with infections that could be later transmitted from one animal to another.

These ear tags are a good pick for other livestock besides cows, as the manufacturer makes different sizes for pigs and sheep.



The customization process seems to be a bit confusing, as customers have to address additional questions about the matter.

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5. U&T Cattle Ear Tags


These cattle ear tags from U&T are available in three different colors: red, green, and yellow. This is good because you have a better chance of seeing the tags hidden beneath the fur or wool as these colors pop up with ease! It would have been more difficult had the tags been brown, black, or white, as they can get lost easily in the fur or wool.

The numbers are written in a big black font that stands out against the colorful background of the tags. This increases the possibility of you seeing the number on the tag so your work will be done much faster. You also have plenty of numbers available in these packs which should be enough for your farm, regardless of how many animals you own.

Analyze our pros and cons, that we identified for this product, and decide for yourself if this is what you were looking for.



The product is made of high quality plastic which makes it more durable, softer, and more flexible so that you won’t have to worry about its quality waning over time.

The numbers on the tags are printed using a laser so they won’t fade away after some rainy days or if sweat covers them. In other words, the tags can be used for years to come.

You can pick the option that has the numbers 001 – 100 printed on them or if you already have 100 animals tagged, you have the option for the 101 – 200 print available.

Pins are included in the pack, alongside tags, so no other products are needed to complete this as you will simply have all that’s needed included in just one go.



In some cases, the buttons weren’t exactly strong enough to puncture the ear properly so the task can become more difficult.

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Yearly Guide & Report


Tagging your cows serves many purposes, and that’s why many livestock owners opt for ear tags as they are inexpensive and they offer you the possibility to manage your cows with ease. Whether you need the ear tags for setting apart the breeding cows, for keeping away from the rest ill animals, and so on, you will find these simple items to be quite useful. The following advice will help you find a good model.

What materials are used?

When you think of ear tags for livestock, you may still remember the clunky and heavy metal models that used to be quite popular in the past. But, the wellbeing of cattle is now taken into consideration, and ear tags are no longer small instruments of torture. The material you should be looking for is TPU, a soft and flexible type of plastic.

This material is highly durable. It won’t brittle, and it doesn’t rust or corrode as metal does. That means that you won’t have to worry about infections developing in your livestock population. Another thing you will want is that your animals are not caused any discomfort when the tags are applied.

These tags are the most non-intrusive from the many you can find on the market. In case they have metal parts, ideally, these should be made of copper or stainless steel.


How many can you get for the right price?

Cow ear tags are not generally expensive, but it is essential that you get as many as you can so that you can stick to a budget. You will notice that simple plastic tags are sold in packages of 100 pieces or more, while those that are a bit more complex are available in packs of 25 pieces.

While it may not appear as an important factor when making your purchasing decision, many of the cattle ear tags reviews you can read online insist on this aspect, as it makes the difference between different products.

Cattle owners that have to tag an essential population of livestock know well the importance of getting enough tags. Also, they must make sure that they have some replacements left in case some of them get lost by accident.

Of course, if you only need to tag a few cows, you don’t have to spend money on a large pack of ear tags. Also, you may want to look at the more expensive ones, as you may well afford them.


Is an applicator included?

Another critical aspect to talk about when searching for cow ear tags is whether the manufacturer includes an applicator or not. In case there is no applicator included, you will need to learn if the ear tags you’re getting will work with a universal applicator. In most cases, they do, but if you want to play safe, you should search for this information when reading the specs offered by the manufacturer.

An applicator is a nice extra. Besides the fact that it will help you save some money on getting an applicator, you will also be able to start tagging your cows right away. Take a look at the materials the applicator is made from. You certainly do not want your cows to suffer when you use the applicator, and there can be other health risks involved, too.

That said, the applicator should be made from materials that can prevent infections. Stainless steel is preferred for at least the part of the applicator that gets in contact with the animal’s blood when you perform the tagging procedure. Besides preventing infections in the animal being tagged, this will also help with eliminating the risk of carrying some diseases from one animal to another.

In case you need to buy an applicator separately, you should pay attention to the same recommendations. The last thing you need is a disease getting spread within your cow population due to an overlook of this nature.


What purposes can they serve?

Typically, cow ear tags are used for easy identification of your livestock, apart from others’. But that is just one of the many purposes they can be used for. For instance, there are medicated cattle ear tags that can release a certain type of medicine slowly into the cows’ blood, therefore ensuring a less invasive treatment than repeated injections.

You will also find cattle insecticide ear tags that have a similar purpose, in the sense that they prevent pests like wasps and other critters from biting your cows and making them ill. You will be able to get ear tags of various colors so that you can split your population of cows between multiple groups.

In case you need to set apart your breeding cows from the rest, you can choose a single color for them. Also, if you need to customize your cattle ear tags, some manufacturers offer such a possibility against a fee.



Cattle identification – What it is and how it has evolved over the years


Throughout history, cattle owners have used various methods to identify their livestock. Hot branding and the use of tattoo used to be widespread, but, during the more recent decades, more humane procedures became a regulation. That was how ear tags came into being.

Two types of identification

Cows need to have a regulated national ID for the times when they leave the heard, and another for within-herd identification. While there are some other forms of identification, used for breeding, medicating part of the population, and other purposes, these two are the major ones.


  • National ID

This ID is essential for beef exports, as cattle owners need to prove that their cows are healthy. Various national programs have been in effect to establish and monitor multiple diseases. Another aspect that works hand in hand with this type of identification is age verification.

This one is important for telling those that will sacrifice the animals if there is a need for removing specific tissue where BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is located. The rule applies for bovines that are older than 30 months of age.

The tags used for national ID purposes have an embedded digital number that indicates the country of origin, as well as a unique number for each animal. All these numbers are stocked in a national database, and removed only after an animal is sold overseas, slaughtered, or dies by other causes.


  • Within-herd ID

While the national ID programs involve the use of more sophisticated tags, within-herd policies involve simple tags that are usually made from metal or plastic. We will talk about them at large down below.


What are metal tags?

These tags are used for identifying your cattle, and they are usually used as a measure of backup for the plastic tags you typically use. One issue with metal tags is that they are small, and they do not come in different colors as plastic models, so you will find it difficult to read the information on them.


What are plastic tags?

Plastic tags, as expected, are the most popular among cattle owners. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and they can also be read from a distance. There may be a consideration for the fact that cows tend to prefer them, as well, since they are lightweight and do not cause any discomfort like metal tags may cause in cold weather, or when they rust.

You can use plastic tags to identify your cows from a distance, you can split the different categories of livestock using different colors, and you can also add more information by customizing your tags.


What are other types of tags available?

  • Neck tags

Ear tags are used everywhere, but they are not the only cattle identification used. For instance, neck tags are used for dairy cow management. They are attached to a transponder that comes with a chain that the animal wears around its neck.

They must be mentioned as one of the early methods to measure feed intake for cattle. Nonetheless, today, neck tags are not very popular, and they are not typically used for within-herd identification.


  • Brisket tags

Brisket tags go, as you expect, through the skin of the brisket and you will notice that the tags can hang freely so that you can read them with ease. The problem with them is that they are not easy to put on cows as the skin in that area is tougher than the rest of the ear. They are not often used for beef cattle, and rarely for dairy cattle.


  • Tattoos

This is another method of identification used by beef breed associations. While tattoos can be used for unique identification, they are not convenient because they cannot be easily removed without hurting the animal.


  • Hot branding

While in the past, hot branding was an inhumane way of identifying cattle, nowadays, the methods used make it a much more bearable procedure for the animal. The hot iron used remains in contact with the animal’s hide only for a few seconds.


  • Freeze brands

Used primarily for black-haired cattle, freeze brands are an alternative to hot branding. While it doesn’t result in any discomfort for the animals, the procedure of applying such a brand is quite complicated.



What are cattle passports?

Cattle, when sold overseas, must have specific information attached, and that is done with the help of specialized cattle passports. While these should not be mistaken for GPS ear tags for cattle, they contain an extensive amount of details related to the animal’s date of birth, ear tag number, number of the dam, breed, and sex.

Unlike cattle GPS tracking ear tags, passports must accompany the respective cattle from birth until death. These passports will document all the transactions associated with the animal, as well as information related to cattle markets, and more.

Details to keep in mind

As a cattle owner, you need to ensure that all the details written in the passports you have for your livestock are accurate. Also, you should never move an animal unless you have this type of passport. Don’t forget that it is illegal to use one animal’s passport for another.

If you plan to sell your cattle, make sure that you submit the necessary documents to the authorities in charge of livestock movement.


When do you need passports for your cows?

All the cows born after July 1st, 1996, must have a cattle passport. These documents are kept by you and used when you must move the livestock. Also, you are responsible for reporting any changes so that the passports can include the new information.

Not only for selling the cattle, the passports your cows have contain information on all their moves. For instance, if you move your cattle for summer grazing or other activities, that is something that should be reflected by the animals’ passports.


How are these passports obtained?

You should first learn about what authorities are in charge of all the paperwork in your area. Remember that your cattle need passports, regardless of the nature of movement you plan for it, whether it is for selling the cattle, or for other purposes.

When born, all cattle should receive passports. So it is up to you to obtain the passports from the authorities operating in your area. Usually, you should apply for new cattle passports, within the first 27 days from the birth of the animal, and within the first week of tagging.

It will be up to you to maintain the information kept by the passports up to date. There are strict laws regarding the movement of cattle, and you should ensure that your entire livestock has all the papers in order.


What information should the passports contain?

Besides the details mentioned at the beginning of this section, you will also need to understand what other records you need to keep. For instance, you need to keep all the breeding records. Each time a calf is born, it should be registered within the first week of life. That is for dairy herd births. For the rest, the first month is the usual time limit for registering.

Each calf should have an ear tag number, and its passport must contain the date of birth, breed, sex, and the identification number of the dam.

Other records you must keep are on cattle movement. This should be operated within the first 36 hours of moving the animals. The information in each passport must contain the ear tag numbers, date of birth, breed, sex, the identification number of the dam, the date of movement, information related to the person operating the move, as well as dates of deaths when applicable, and dates of replacing tags.


How long should the records be kept?

The legal procedures state that these records must be kept for ten years, calculated from the last entry performed by a farm. In other cases, the time limit is three years.




1) The Form and Function of Livestock Ear Tags

2) Where do they put ear tags on cattle?

3) Is ear tagging important?

4) What is the purpose of ear tagging?




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