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  • All goats must be tattooed at the time of application for registration.

  • Each goat must have a unique tattoo sequence.

  • The applicant’s HERD PREFIX shall be tattooed in the RIGHT EAR of all goats submitted for registration. (If a doe is sold to a new owner during pregnancy, offspring resulting from that pregnancy shall have the herd prefix of the owner of the doe at kidding tattooed in the right ear of each offspring submitted for registration).

  • The LEFT EAR of all goats submitted for registration shall be tattooed with a letter to indicate the year the animal was born, followed by a serial number to designate the order of birth. (See ABGA Tattoo Letters).

  • No goat shall be registered by ABGA with the same tattoo (combination of right and left ear tattoos) within a 22 year period.

  • Permanently implanted microchip identification will be accepted by ABGA as official identification in addition to, or in lieu of, tattoos.

ABGA Tattoo Letters













Tips for Successful Tattooing of Your Goats

  • Halter or muzzle the animal, if necessary.

  • Insert the correct symbols in the pliers.

  • Check the correctness of the symbols by making a mark on a piece of paper.

  • Smear ink on the skin, choosing an area free from freckles and warts, if possible.

  • Place the symbols parallel to and between the veins or cartilage of the ear or the veins of the tail web.

  • Green paste is much better for permanent tattoo identification, particularly where the tissue receiving the tattoo is black or very dark.

  • Do not disturb the area until the healing process is complete, which may be from five to twenty-one days.

  • Keep a list of tattoo numbers with names of animals and enter it in your private breeding record.

  • To read the tattoo in a dark-ear animal, hold a lighted flashlight against the outside of the ear.

Equipment Needed: Baking soda, tattoo digits, numbers and alphabet, tattoo ink (paste or roll-on; green is the most versatile), tattoo pliers, wet wipes, toothbrush, and towel.

Livestock tattoo equipment.

Clean the ear. Scrub the middle of the ear with a wipe.

Boer goat getting her ear cleaned.

Dry the ear thoroughly.

Boer goat getting her ear dried.

Apply ink to ear.

Boer goat getting tattoo ink applied to her ear.

Tattoo the ear using tattoo pliers. Push down hard. The herd prefix goes in the right ear, and the year letter and goat's number go in the left ear.

Boer goat getting her ear tattooed.

Apply more ink.

Ink being applied to boer goat's ear after tattoo.

Apply baking soda.

Baking soda being applied to boer goat's ear.

Work baking soda into tattooed area.

Baking soda being rubbed into boer goat's ear.

Finished product after one year.

A boer goat's ear one year after tattooing.

Tattoo Guidelines

ABGA identifies animals by their left and right ear tattoos These tattoos must follow ABGA rules and guidelines. 

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