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Home Resources Learning Center Marking Tags for Livestock and Pets

Marking Tags for Livestock and Pets

Applying ear tags to cattle and other livestock is an effective way to identify and manage animals. Similarly, tags are important for pets as they can have addresses and other info vital to their return should the pet ever be lost. Tags can also include medical information, such as vaccination info and vet location.

If you are in need of a marking machine to mark tags, you can read about our different marking solutions in our product catalog. There's information on our different marking technologies and the accessories that are available to help you mark your tags quickly and efficiently.


Other information often found on livestock and pet tags include:

  • Property Identification Codes (PIC)
  • National Livestock Identification
  • Crop year, birth order, location ID
  • Custom designs and logos

Because tags are important for livestock and pets, the information on those tags should be permanent and easy-to-read. Here are three different marking technologies capable of producing the right mark for animal tags.

Laser Marking

There are different types of marking processes when it comes to lasers. One type is annealing (or heat marking).

Annealing is a marking process that creates a thermo-chemical reaction. Instead of displacing material to make a mark (the way engraving does, for example), annealing applies just enough heat to a material to alter the surface’s properties, creating oxide layers that result in a (usually) dark mark. Though the mark is permanent, it can’t be felt since material is not displaced.

With the software included with our GeoMARK lasers, you can enter information in different font styles and sizes, as well as logos, barcodes, and 2D data matrices.

Pin Marking

Pin marking, also known as dot peen marking, creates a mark by striking the surface of a material with a specially designed stylus tip. The force behind the tip usually comes from pneumatic pressure, though some pin marking machines are powered electronically. You can control the look of the mark by using different tips, changing the amount of pressure, and varying the speed.

The pin markers use Stylewrite, our windows-based software program for unparalleled control and flexibility. Stylewrite is easy-to-use and features plenty of programming options including serial marking, variable marking speeds, and automatic date code/time stamping. Import vector images, create 2D data codes, rotate parts for radial marking, and more.


Manual Nameplate Marking

Manual nameplate marking machines have character dials that are pressed into the surface of a part, usually by pushing down on a lever. This creates an embossed mark similar to what the numbers on a credit card look like from the back of the card.

Some machines, such as our Model 4, advances the part automatically after the mark is made to create even spacing between characters. Different-sized dials for different character heights are also available to ensure you have the right size for your tag.

Which marking system is right for you?

While you can mark animal tags with any of these systems, one option may be better than the others depending on your specific application. The number of tags you need to produce, the size, shape, and material of the tag, the kind of information you want to include, and your budget are just a few of the determining factors.

If you’re interested in marking tags for livestock or pets, send us a message or give us a call at 847-647-7117 and we will help you determine the best marking system for your application.