Lamb's flank tattooing

Tips & Tricks from Italy

Selection nucleus breeders at the end of the lambing season are visited by the official personnel of the Regional Associations of Sheep Breeders (APA) in order to perform an early identification (before ruminal bolus deposition) of lambs by tattooing the lamb’s flank with the ID number of the mother.

This allows to avoid mismatching of mother-lamb couples and assess the correct pedigree using artificial insemination or single sire mating information. Tattooing is performed using a plier which has dies in the form of numbers bearing in mind that only skin must be felt inside the head of the plier i.e. do not tattoo into muscle.


1) handle and restrain the animal gently;

2) clean the area with a cloth soaked in alcohol;

3) clean the tattooing equipment thoroughly after each use.

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