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 G, I, O, Q, and U are not used.
  • 2017-J
  • 2018-K
  • 2019-L
  • 2020-M
  • 2021-N
  • 2022-P
  • 2023-R
  • 2024-S
  • 2025-T
  • 2026-V

Tattoo Registration

All animals must be permanently identified before they are registered in AGS. Tattoo Registration is free of charge with the registration of a herd name.

Easy Steps to Tattoo Marking

Every kid should be tattooed shortly after birth to assure lifelong identification. Proper tattoo identification is required by many fairs, and it is essential in production testing, and is always valuable to be sure that identifications do not become confused. More than once stolen animals have been recovered because of this positive identification afforded by the tattoo. In cases of death and settling of estates, the presence or absence of tattoo marks in the animals has meant the difference between a good herd being discarded because no one could properly identify the animals, or the profitable sale of the herd because the purchaser was able to know positively the identity of the goats purchased.

Tattooing is a simple operation - so simple it can hardly be termed an operation, in fact. Its success depends entirely upon the operator and following a few simple rules.
  1. Hold the animal securely. With a small kid this is no problem, as its head can be held between the operator’s knees; with a larger goat it may be simple to put a halter on it and tie rather close.

  2. Cleanse the area of the ear to be tattooed, using a cloth dampened with carbon tetrachloride or alcohol to remove dirt, grease and wax. (In the case of the earless LaMancha breed the tattoo is placed in the thin webbing at the base of the tail, using the same technique otherwise.)

  3. Using a pliers-type tattoo, the correct symbols are inserted in the pliers. Check the correctness of the tattoo by impressing it in a sheet of paper.

  4. While not absolutely necessary, it simplifies the operation if a thin sheet of sponge rubber is then pressed down over the tattoo needles. This pad helps to release the needles after the impression is made in the ear.

  5. Smear ink on the skin, covering the area of the tattoo. Choose an area free from freckles or warts that might disfigure the tattoo. Place the symbols of the tattoo so they will be parallel to and between the veins or cartilaginous ridges of the ear. The accidental piercing of a good-size vein may spoil the tattoo.

  6. Make the imprint with a quick firm movement of closing the tattoo pliers. Immediately after releasing the pliers apply a further amount of ink in the ear and rub vigorously and continuously for at least 15 seconds to insure penetration of the ink - this is highly important. The most effective way is to rub with thumb and forefinger, although a stiff brush may be used.

  7. Do not disturb the tattooed area until the healing process is complete, which may be from 5 to 21 days depending on the age of the animal.
On light-skinned animals the color of the tattoo is rather unimportant. With dark-skinned animals a dark green ink seems to be preferable. On such animals holding a flashlight in back of the ear will help in reading the tattoo.

Tattoo Policy Information

  1. Be sure you tattoo the animal’s right ear for tattoos in the right ear and the animal’s left ear for tattoos in the left ear. On LaManchas, this would read, left tail, center tail, or right tail, or a combination of these. AGS currently recognizes tattoos and/or microchips. ANY animal registered must be assigned a tattoo sequence from the herd of origin at the time of registration, regardless of whether the animal is microchipped or not. It is not required that BOTH forms of ID be done at the time of registration, but the tattoo sequence MUST be listed on the application to provide an accurate, alternative form of permanent ID in the event the animal is sold to a non-microchipping herd. In the case of verifying show wins, either form of ID may be read, as long as it is noted on the awards/show report. The win will then be verified by the office. The ID read must match exactly the same ID on the animals registration certificate. (BOD 2001) If microchipped only, the owner must provide the reader to identify the animal at a show. (BOD 1993)

  2. Be sure the animal’s tattoos match exactly the animal’s registration papers. This is very important for animals that enter the show ring.

  3. All revisions (this includes added microchip information) for registration certificates must be sent to the office with the appropriate revision fees.

  4. AGS, along with USDA, is recommending that microchips be placed in the tail or tail web. This is a recommended site only and is not required at this time. Animals that have been micro-chipped in other locations prior to this time are still acceptable

  5. A tattoo will be deemed correct:
    • If the correct tattoo can be identified.
    • If other identical markings exist, they are to be disregarded IF the papers are marked "re-tattooed". (In other words, if an animal is re-tattooed or microchipped, papers MUST be sent in to the office for revision.)
    • If a tattoo revision is made to the registration papers, and revision is NOT identical to original tattoos, the revised tattoos are what will be read.

Special Tattoo Instructions for Dual Registered Animals

Some AGS members are in the process of dual registering their animals. A few issues regarding reconciliation of AGS tattoos with those of other registries have come to the attention of the AGS office, and at least one member has altered tattoos on AGS registered animals such that the registration of those animals is in jeopardy. Because of these problems, the AGS Office has asked that we clarify the tattooing procedure to be followed for dual registration.

The most important thing to remember is DO NOT alter your AGS approved ear tattoos EXCEPT in one very special case!! More on this later.

To reconcile tattoos so that any AGS goat with ears can also be registered with another registry without placing your AGS registration at risk:
Find out what tattoo the other registry wants to appear on the goat. Put it on the tail (left or right tail web, or center tail). Fill out the other registry’s application and INCLUDE EVERY TATTOO that is on the goat, including ears and tail. Keep in mind that when checking tattoos at shows, ADGA rules require the judge to either fill in a tattoo for each possible place there could be one, or write "none" on the show report if there is none. If a tattoo is present that is not on your registration certificate, your goat does not match your certificate. As of yet, this is not required of judges at AGS shows. Further, at this time, if you add a tail tattoo to a goat with ear tattoos that match its AGS registration certificate, it is not necessary to return your registration certificate to AGS to note the added tail tattoo as a change of tattoo, though of course this is permissible.

Here is the special case where you may change ear tattoos in pursuit of dual registration. You may add one or more digits to an AGS registered goat's right (herd of origin) ear if and only if BOTH of the following are true:

  1. The herd of origin tattoo of the BREEDER of the goat (not your tattoo, unless you are the breeder) has been officially changed with AGS.

  2. - AND -

  3. The new herd of origin tattoo was derived from the old tattoo by adding one or more digits to the beginning or end of the old tattoo.
Example: My original tattoo with AGS was JK. My new tattoo with AGS (and ADGA) is JK5. Anyone may add a 5 to the right ear of a goat of my breeding that is tattooed JK, send in that goat's papers to AGS for a change of tattoo, and dual register that goat with ADGA with JK5 noted as the right ear tattoo.


Purebred DAIRY GOAT Registry