2017 Is E

ELDON COLE

MT. VERNON, MO.
   The year 2017 is the letter E for the international year/letter designation for animal identification. This is a good time to make a change in your cow-calf operation as far as tattoo, brand and tag numbers are concerned. I recommend using the letter as the first part of your calf’s personal ID number. If it’s the first calf born in 2017 the ID would be E1 or E01, even E001 depending on how many calves you expect to be born on your farm in 2017. This system takes you up to 999 head.
   It’s easy for me to make this recommendation and I realize you probably have you own system. I work with lots of different numbering systems and they sometimes are very confusing and not compatible with computerized record keeping.
   The number you put on a newborn calf should be unique to your herd. It should not be duplicated in the normal lifetime of that calf. If you just start the year with 1, 2, 3 etc., year after year and you save heifers as replacements, you’ll end up with several heifers and cows with the same number. Computer program don’t like that system.
   The letters I, O, Q and V are not used ever in the alphabetic system I suggest. ∆
   ELDON COLE: Extension Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri
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