Goat Identification (microchip,tattoo,tag)

It is important that all animals are identified. Animals must be identified at all shows to receive points. Animals must also be identified for transportation purposes. Each state has different requirements so please check with your indivdual state to see what is required.


There are several ways to identify your goat. One of the following should be included when registering your goat.

1. You can tattoo your goats left and right ear. (see how to below)

2. You can place a scrapie tag in your goats ear. (see how to below) 

3. You can microchip your goat. (see how to below)

AFGO will continue to accept the 9-digit RFID implants (microchips) 

currently in widespread use, and the new 15-digit ISO-compliant RFID implants for identification purposes. This usage 

includes registration of animals and identification compliance at AFGO-sanctioned shows. No changes have been made.

There are different rules for the transportation of goats and each state is different so be sure to check your state guideline prior to transport.


AFGO has purchased a microchip reader to be used at our shows.  It is able to read both the 9 & 10 digit chips. If our reader cannot read your chips you will be required to furnish a reader at the show. We recommend AVID chips. The minimum order to buy from AVID has now been lowered to a box of 5. They can also be purchased in bulk at a cheaper rate. They are easy to place chips in self loading syringes.


How to microchip your goat

 How to Microchip Your Goat for Easy Identification

If you live in a state that doesn’t require identification, you don’t have to permanently identify unregistered goats. If you get a registered goat, it should already have a microchip or tattoo, and if you want to register a goat that is eligible for one of the registries, you will be required to permanently identify it to prove that the goat is who you say it is. You also may want to permanently identify your goats even if you aren’t required to. You never know when you might have to prove that they’re yours — if they get lost or stolen, for example.

Microchips come in sterile, individual injectors that look like a large syringe and needle. Each is sealed, has a unique number, and includes several stick-on labels imprinted with the number. The microchips can be read only with a special microchip reader.

The best place to insert the microchip is in the tail web (the loose, hairless area under the tail on either side of the anus). Always use the left side to make finding the microchip easier.

You need a cotton ball, some rubbing alcohol, a microchip in its injector, a microchip reader, and registration papers and/or another form to record the number. (A reader is not required for microchipping, but by having one, you avoid the small chance of error in recording the number.)

Here are the steps you take to microchip your goat:

  1. Get your supplies together.Remove the microchip injector from its container, being careful to keep the needle up so the chip doesn’t fall out, and scan it. Confirm that the number scanned is identical to the number on the stick-on labels.
  2. Secure the goat on a milk standor have a helper hold the goat on her lap.If you’re using a helper, have her hold the goat with the head to one side, the legs secured between her legs, and her arm wrapped around the goat’s side holding the tail up. She can hold the legs with the other hand for more stability.
  3. Clean the insertion area with alcohol.If you have a goat that may have been microchipped previously, scan the area several times to verify that no chip is implanted.
  4. Insert the needle just under the loose skin for several inches, pressing upward at a nearly parallel angle.Press the plunger until it stops.
  5. Remove the needle and apply pressure for a few minutes at the injection site to prevent the microchip from coming out and to stop any bleeding.
  6. Scan to locate the implanted microchip.Verify the number against the stick-on labels. Place a label on your form and registration papers, if applicable, and record the animal’s name.

 How to Tattoo Your Goats for Easy Identification

No matter whether you’re keeping goats because they contribute to a sustainable lifestyle or as a 4-H project for your kids, you’ll need to mark them for easy identification. Tattooing your goats is relatively inexpensive. Basic equipment for tattooing costs less than $100 and only a few dollars a year after that.

Microchipping is also an option. Tattooing, although slightly more painful for the goat, doesn’t come with many medical risks; microchipping, on the other hand, has been known to cause tumors.

If you plan to register goats, you need to check with the registry you will use to find out what method they allow and what tattoo sequence (letters and numbers) you need to use.

Supplies for tattooing include gloves to protect your hands from ink, a pair of tattoo tongs, special tattoo ink, and letters and numbers to use in the tongs. You can use black ink on light-colored goats, but green shows up better on dark-skinned goats.

  1. Secure the sequence of letters and numbers you will use in the tattoo tongs.Squeeze them on a piece of paper to ensure that they are in the right order.
  2. Put on your gloves.
  3. Clean the inside of the goat’s ear or tail web (the loose, hairless area under the tail on either side of the anus) with alcohol, making sure that you have the correct ear for the tattoo you are using.LaMancha goats’ ears are too small for tattooing, so you need to use the tail web.
  4. When the ear is dry, rub tattoo ink on the inside of the ear or on the tail web.
  5. Hold the ear out and position the tattoo tongs over the inside, being careful to avoid the veins to minimize bleeding.To tattoo the tail web, position the tongs with the prongs facing the hairless side of the tail.
  6. Puncture the ear or tail web firmly with the tattoo tongs one time, then release.The goat will try to pull away, so make sure to hold securely.
  7. Apply more tattoo ink and rub it in with your finger or a toothbrush to ensure that it fills the puncture.
  8. Change the tattoo digits to the sequence you will use for the second ear and repeat Steps 3 through 7.


  • How to tattoo your goat: You will need to place your suffix letters in the right ear. Example: PFA(playful acres). The year will be placed in the left ear along with the birth number. Example: C12 (C is the number representing 2012 and 12 represents the 12th kid born at playful acres.) Look at the chart below to determine the letter indicated for the correct year of birth. 
  • 2011-B    
  •  2012-C   
  •  2013-D 
  • 2014-E   
  • 2015-F    
  • 2016-H
  • 2017-J   
  •  2018-K  
  • 2019-L 
  • 2020-M    
  •  2021-N  
  •  2022-P  
  •  2023-R 
  •   2024-S
  •  2025-T
  •  2026-V
  • 2027-W 
  • 2029-Z  
  •  2030-A
How to tag your goat: Tags come in both plastic and metal. Breeders must choose which style they prefer to use. There are advantages and disadvatages to both. Tags can be sent to you free of charge with a number system assigned for your use. An applicator will also be sent to you. Contact the following link.