Frequently Asked Questions


We ship blank ear tags within 3 to 5 days and custom engraved ear tags within 2 to 3 weeks. Remember, lead time = from the time the order is taken to the time the order ships. Our lead time does not include the time it takes to ship the product.

A Minimum Order Fee is charged when the total of the order, before shipping charges, is less than $25. We encourage you to purchase an extra bag of buttons, or an engraving bit, or a few blank tags to avoid this charge.

We implemented the 3D ear tag designer to provide you more power over what information to put on your livestock ID tags. In our first release we were able to cover 90% of normal use cases. Here is an instructional video on how to use it Ritchey 3D Tag Maker. If you're struggling with the new tool, can't figure out how to use it, or it doesn't provide you with the template you're looking for, just give us a call at 1-800-EAR-TAGS or email us at It's no problem at all. We're always happy to help you!

We no longer use spreadsheets on the website. Instead, on the 4th step in the 3D ear tag designer, you'lll be asked to choose between sequential numbering (example 1-100) or nonsequential numbering (example 1A, 5B, 10C, etc). If you have specialized needs and prefer to use our old numbering lists, please send us an email at and we'll happily provide you what you need and answer any questions you may have. Here is a how-to video on how to use the Ritchey 3D ear tag designer

Ear Tag Product Questions

The Ritchey large ear tags are ideal for mature cattle, cows, bulls, and bison.  Medium ear tags are a perfect size for calves.  Small ear tags are designed for calves too, but can be used on other small livestock such as sheep and goats. Ribbon ear tags are also used by some on sheep and goats AND for double tagging cattle.

Ritchey offers our ear tags in 13 different color combinations to help you better manage your livestock herd. Since 1964, yellow/black is by far our best selling cattle tag color followed by white/black, red/white, black/white, orange/black, green/white, blue/white, light blue/black, light green black, purple/white, pink/black, brown/white, and red/black.

Since 1964, a yellow/black cattle tag has been our best seller by far. The numbers on these ear tags really pop and are visible from a long distance. We'd argue it's even easier to see them at night. In second place, our white/black ear tag is extremely popular for superior visibility.

For years, the Ritchey family ran a pure-bred cow operation and used the large dual-colored ear tags without issue. However, if you plan to change the information on the tag late in the animal’s life, you can use the medium calf tag on your calf, and replace it with the large cattle tag, using the same hole.  On a calf, it’s important to place the ear tag close to the head, between the middle ribs of the animal’s ear.

Only the Ritchey tool pin, available for sale HERE, should be used to install the Ritchey "Clover" button. Using Y-Tex or Allflex tool pins with the Ritchey "Clover" button CAN lead an insertion failure. See this video for further explanation - Tool Pin Explanation

The simple answer is NO, you do not need to buy a new tagger to install Ritchey ear tags. However, it is essential that your tagger has the correct tool pin to match the button you're trying to install. Ritchey Tool pins can be easily installed in most industry taggers. Here are two How to videos for more information.

How to prepare your tagger.

The importance of tool pins!

Custom Ear Tag Engraving Questions

Absolutely! While it technically is possible to engrave completely through the ear tag, with a little practice, you'll be able to successfully engrave on both sides of the tag. In fact, many ranchers engrave custom information on both sides of the ear tag to help them manage their herd better. Engrave away friends!

There are several ways. 1) Use the Ritchey 3D ear tag design tool on this site. Just click on the ear tag size you want and click "Design your own Tag" 2) email us your requests at 3) Contact us the old fashion way at 1-800-EARTAGS. We always love hearing from our customers.

Absolutely!  You can send a PDF or jpeg file of your ranch's brand or logo to and one of our Customer Success Associates will provide a proof for your approval.  You can also simply call 1 800 EAR TAGS for complete details on tag customization!

No, Ritchey does not carry a stencil for engraving ear tags.  If you feel you need to, try using a marker or pen to write on your ear tag as a guideline for permanently engraving.

The bits that come packaged with a Dremel tool that has not been purchased from Ritchey do not include the 1/4″ High Speed Cutter bit, which is the bit we highly recommend and found works best for engraving on the Ritchey Dual-Colored cattle ear tags.

Ear Tag Buttons & Backing Questions

Yes. We do not force you to buy Ritchey Clover buttons for your Ritchey ear tags. While we feel our buttons provide the best retention around, we understand you may have a favorite brand or have dozens of other buttons laying around your shop. If not a Ritchey Clover button, we recommend either AllFlex or Temple buttons for the best retention possible. Don't forget the importance of the correct tool pin! See here - Tale of the Tool Pins

The Ritchey "Clover" button is incredibly durable. They can fail in extremely cold weather if you attempt to insert a warm button in a frozen tag. We've made some major improvements since the launch of the Ritchey 1.0 "Clover" button. However, 99% of the time, a broken button usually means you're using the wrong tool pin. Ritchey "Clover" buttons MUST be installed with a Ritchey tool pin. See this video for a detailed explanation on why - Tool Pin Explanation

Hands down, we believe the Ritchey "Clover" button is the absolute best backing you can use for a two-piece Ritchey ear tag. It's innovative shape results in less snagging, better overall retention and quicker healing.

The short answer is yes. Straight talk = we recommend you don't. A Y-Tex button is fantastic on a Y-Tex cattle tag. However, we redesigned the grommet on our Ritchey ear tag to work best with the Ritchey "Clover" button. The Ritchey tag and Clover button make for the ultimate two-piece solution when paired together.

For the best retention and quicker healing, we highly recommend the Ritchey "Clover" button. However, if you want another option to consider, our top two picks for the Ritchey ear tag would be an Allflex or Temple button. A Y-Tex button is not the best choice for a Ritchey cow tag.

Shipping Questions

Yes, we do ship to Canada along with many other countries. Customers are responsible for all shipping fees, duties, and taxes.  All transactions are made in US Dollars.

For shipping our ear tags and accessories, Ritchey uses USPS (United States Postal Service) and FedEx for shipping. Based on the size of your order you will be presented with the applicable shipping options at checkout.

No. Our lead times are defined as the time between when an order is taken and when it ships. Expedited shipping will only shorten shipping time.

Red Angus cattle walking on a trail

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