Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Spray Marking Lambs  (Read 890 times)


  • Joined Apr 2018
Spray Marking Lambs
« on: April 12, 2021, 01:33:27 pm »
Does anyone else have difficulties when spraying numbers on the side of coloured lambs? We can't seem to find a spray that is resilient and retains its readability for more than a couple of weeks. We don't like tagging young lambs because of potential ear damage but we always have to re-mark them several times to keep the numbers visible. Any suggestions welcome? (PS we need to identify their mothers to confirm pedigree)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Spray Marking Lambs
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2021, 01:48:27 pm »
We went through exactly the same thing, Samdunford, and for the same reason.

I even did a vaguely scientific test by painting a couple of lambs in all colours of the rainbow, to see what stayed best - answer: none of them really, though Nettex Promark was the longest lasting brand.

We now colour code tails or heads (the white bits on a Zwartbles), to buy us a couple of weeks, whereupon we put in Roxan Easytags. These are colour coded blue for a boy, white for a girl and orange for a wether. They are nice and small, and we haven't lost any or had any ripped ears. They just have a sequential number on them, so nothing fancy. We don't put them in at birth though, because we found that the extra weight made their ears droop for a few weeks (they did all recover, but it looked really sad).

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Spray Marking Lambs
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2021, 02:54:04 pm »
I have never used numbers, but always colour coded. The ewe and lamb being marked the same, with one mark for a single eg single line or circle just above the tail, or midway along back, or just below the neck. The line could be vertical or horizontal. That gives you 9 different marks for a single, with one colour alone. Given the ewe is marked the same, you could then tell by looking at the ewe how many lambs she has, and by looking at the lamb, whether it should have any siblings with it.

Twins would then be marked with 2 lines, or a line and a circle - a circle counting as a single mark, as it was done with one stroke. These could be all one colour or a combination of 2. The 2 lines could be parallel, (horizontal or vertical) or a cross,  and again in any one of 3 places along the body and the ewe marked the same. With say 4 colours the combination was virtually infinite, or should you still need more there are plenty more colours available.

Similarly with triplets - any combination of colours, lines and circles that made up a count of 3.

I found this much easier than trying to get a legible number on a wriggling lamb, and the colours lasted longer than the numbers remained discernible. I also found it easier as mentioned, to be able to instantly see how many lambs a ewe should have.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Spray Marking Lambs
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2021, 06:52:36 pm »
What breed are your lambs ? I tag my lleyns (not the biggest lambs in the world, and their ears can be small) from a couple of days old and no bother with damaging ears. Much rather do it then than when the flies are out in summer and the lambs are bigger and quicker moving! I use shearwell set tags. Same reasons really I record weights from 4-6 weeks old and need to know parentage.


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