Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats


Hi! Is it absolutely necessary for the babies to have a tattoo for registering or selling? I hate to have this done.  My vet did the debudding and I realize that the fee can add up quick.  Does anybody have any ideals? When should it be done? At what age, should the kids be registered?


Thanks, Tammy

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If kids are ever sold, shown, in a milk test, or in any situation where they need a positive ID, they must be either tattooed, tagged, or microchipped. Microchipping is expensive, because you have to buy the reader, and ADGA doesn't accept it. Goats will rip out tags from each other's ears. So, that's why almost everyone tattoos. Tattoo pliers only cost about $35, so it's an inexpensive option. I highly recommend the automatic release pliers, because you have to peel the ear off the ones that don't automatically release. You must also press really, really hard to get the needles through the ear. Otherwise, you've just messed it up and made it harder to read another tattoo.

Kids can be registered and/or tattooed at any age. However, it is MUCH easier to tattoo a kid than an adult. A couple goats have slipped through the cracks here, and when we got ready to attend a show, we were checking ears and realized we'd missed one. It is quite a challenge to tattoo a 60-80 pound animal. We generally tattoo kids about two months old.

As for disbudding, now that you've seen it done, you should consider buying a disbudding iron and doing it yourself. You're right that those costs do add up quickly!

Hi Deborah and other folks with Tattooing experience, 

I am getting around to doing my first tattoos. I have to do a dozen kids born this spring and last year's does as well. I am checking to see if anyone has done tattoos using the 3/8 set from Jeffers. I bought it last year and have 2 ready to go with numbers and letters and then just noticed people seems to use a smaller set for Nigerians. I am deciding whether to invest in a whole new set or try this out. If anyone has successfully used this standard pair on Nigerians, I'd love to hear how it went.

THANKS so much!


Well, I just got the 3/8 set too. I sure hope it is the right one! Let me do some research through the threads a minute!

Dawn, Don't tell me your goat isn't tattoed? Oh, crap I am going to have to go check you know who! Yes, you were right to assume that, in my opinion. If you do have to do him his papers will have the num./let. that should be on him written on them! Make sure you get them in the CORRECT ear.

Hope, I just went back to a thread I started about this a while back and in it Deborah told me she uses 3/8, ok? We should be good!

At that point I would have done what you did, I'm sure. Go home! Bless your heart. I still don't get Sera not having one though Was she born there@ T.H also. I figured since she was a Kids Corral that she was probably not born there and therefor would have her tattoo!

I am going out to check but I am sure now that I will find a non tattooed goat!

OK, that would of course be the other option I just wasn't sure. 

Well, as would be expected I see no sign of a tattoo on Quill! I also am not seeing one on Oak but it could be I need some one to hold their heads a second they don't seem to like you looking in their ears much! They are in a crappy mood this am apparently. I think maybe it is girls/season, cause Quill didn't want me to mess with him(not normal) Oak didn't(actually pretty normal for him) and Butter sure didn't want me to mess with her (I think cause I handled the boys and she didn't like the smell I guess) I am real sure all my yearlings are done. I was told they were (when purchased) and hubby says they are done. 

I can't imagine Oak not having his, unless he is one of those few that somehow feel through the cracks! I suppose that is possible!

Oh, I don't blame you for that! I wouldn't either, after all it is not like it really matters right now. It can be taken care of later on when they are in love with you. They will be, I just know it is going to work out for you!

The breeder who sold me Capri and Summer had not tattooed them and made a point of telling me so I was aware of it.  Honestly, it would not have occurred to me to even ask.  I did have the vet tattoo Ginger on her second visit.  She has forgiven me. :-)

Living in town, should they somehow get out and someone else claimed they belonged to them, it would be my only way of absolutely proving they are mine so, for me, the tattoo was not even an option in my mind.  She has only the year in the right ear with no number as there will likely be no more born here this year and if there are, the numbers can go in it/them; this saved that little bit of additional discomfort these humans inflicted on her.  The way she hollered just being held/restrained for the tattoos, I truly am not even sure she felt the tattooing though cannot imagine that she didn't.

We are preparing mentally for doing our first tattoos!

Our first choice herd name and tattoo were available. So, we are officially BentPenny (no space) and BP7 is our official herd tattoo for the left ear and of course we are using the official C in the left ear + the numbers corresponding with their birth order after the C.

Glad I took everyone's advice to try keeping things short. I don't foresee going over 3 digits per ear this way, at least not for a LOOONGGG time!

I don't know that is a good question. I have been trying to figure out how you handle those things. Do you know if ANA is available from ADGA? If you don't know then maybe you should call and ask.

I have only communicated with AGS so far and I called to check availability first. But , I am thinking now since you brought this up that I will go ahead and contact both ADGA & NDGA and see what I can find out. Because I would really like to have everything the same and kept as simple as possible.

Can someone please explain the details of tattooing? What do the numbers mean, how do I do it, what equipment do I need, etc. I have to register my first baby and she has to be tattooed to accept the registration and I am clueless. PLEASE help me!


"AGS accepts tattoos and/or microchips as forms of identification; however, you MUST assign and list your tattoo sequence (both right and left ears) on the registration papers.  Recording the tattoo sequence allows future owners the ability to tattoo the animal should they choose to do so.  Keep in mind that not all members have a chip reader.
"When tattooing your goats’ ears your registered herd tattoos should go in the right ear.  This same registered herd tattoo will be used for all goats born on your property.  The animal specific tattoo for each animal should go in the left ear.  This tattoo will be different for every animal you tattoo.  This tattoo consists of a letter for the year the animal was born followed by a sequential number for that particular animal.  In 2009 the year letter is Z so the first kid born in 2009 would be Z1, second kid Z2; eighth kid would be Z8 and so on through the year.  While standing behind your animal your left will be the animal’s left and your right will be the animal’s right.  If you are facing the animal it would be opposite.
"The specific letter is assigned for each year an animal is born.  The year letter basically follows the alphabet.  The letters I, O, Q, and U are not used.
"2004-T    2005-V     2006-W    2007-X    2008-Y    2009-Z    2010-A   2011-B   2012-C   2013-D"

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