Click on the photos to "bigify" them.

Below are some examples of desirable and less than desirable head shot/ear tag photos. Optimally, your photos should be looking directly at the sheep's face, from the same height as the sheep, not from above, below, or from the side of the sheep and showing the complete head/face of the sheep as well as the complete ear tag number. In the case of the scrapie tags, this would be both the flock ID number (starts with the two letter state abbreviation) and the sheep ID number (unique to the sheep).

You'll also have better luck having the ear tag be readable if:
  • you focus your camera on the tag rather than the sheep.
  • you can take the photos in natural light.
  • you don't use a flash. The light is going to make the tags difficult to read.

Notice on the last photo in the series above, it was necessary for the person holding the lamb to also hold the lamb's ear in a position to have the tag facing forward.

Sometimes, it will be necessary to take two photos to submit for one sheep. If the owner uses smaller tags or if they use the small metal tags it may not be possible to have the sheep's face in the photo and also have the tag be readable. In this case, take the best photo you can showing the face and the tag, then take a close up of the tag with enough of the sheep's face in the photo so the registrar would know it was the same sheep.

Below are some less than desirable photos.

In the first photo, part of the sheep's head is missing. The shot was not a straight on head shot in the second photo.

The shot was not a straight on head shot in the first photo. In the second photo, half of the sheep's head is missing.

In this photo, none of the sheep's face is showing, only the tag. If it was a case of only the sheep ID number (0003) was on the inside of the ear, the sheep's ear needed to be held with this piece (the female piece) of the ear tag facing forward.

We receive many questions about the height photos required for the open registry applications. Below is an example of what we are looking for. In this photo, the entire sheep is visible. The sheep is standing on level ground. The vertical yardstick has the 24" height marked. The yardstick is pushed down into the wool for an accurate height. If your sheep has not been recently sheared, this is necessary. Also keep in mind, if the sheep's hooves have not been recently trimmed, they can add height to the sheep. Not necessary; but, a small level is taped to the horizontal ruler which makes it easier to know you're getting an accurate height photo by holding the yardstick level. A bonus in this photo is you can also see the sheep's ear tag number so we know it is the same sheep you're submitting the package for. Another bonus - not required - is the height of the sheep has been added to the photo.

For those purchasing their own ear tags from a tag company, here is a handy chart showing the tags in the order of readability. Choosing colors on the left end will make it easier to take a photo of the writing on the tag.


Updated as of 11/08/2017