March 6, 2013 by Taylor Angus
Proper identification methods are essential to a well-functioning cattle operation. As I said previously, today’s cattle markets are in demand for cattle that look very similar. This can lead to many mix ups and human errors in terms of animal lineage. Especially in a pure-bred operation, it essential that we know which cow each calf belongs too, and who the sire (father) of each calf is. Whenever an animal is registered, its lineage is recorded by a national association (in my case the American Angus Association), so that other breeders may look at its pedigree. (Which is a HUGE selling point in the Angus breed).
In the case of commercial cattle, as well as registered, the identification of the babies is necessary to preventing inbreeding. If we don’t keep track of the lineage of the animals and identify them properly, there stands a far greater chance of breeding father to daughter, or brother to sister. After all, bulls don’t know the difference, in their minds, they’re just doing their job. For obvious reasons, inbreeding is frowned upon, and not desired amongst producers. Since we can’t trust the cattle to sort it out for themselves, it is therefore up to us to prevent it. Identification is the only way to accomplish it.