Tattoo Pen or Tattoo Pliers
The most common way to administer tattoos is by using a set of tattoo pliers. Numbers and letters can be inserted into the pliers, and then an ink is applied. The pliers are firmly clamped on the animal’s ear or tail, depending on the type of animal, and a permanent tattoo will remain. This method is simple, inexpensive and relatively fool proof. We bought a pair of goats a couple of years ago whose seller forgot to change out the numbers in the tattoo. This can be difficult to correct.
A tattoo pen is similar to the pens used in human tattoos. The tip is a fine needle that is dipped in ink, and then the tattoo is drawn onto the animal. This method does not usually produce results as clean and crisp as tattoo pliers, but you have complete flexibility in what you tattoo. It is also much more difficult to put the wrong tattoo sequence on the animal.
We chose a tattoo pen and have been happy with it. For about $50, we have the whole setup and it can be easily used on both our rabbits and goats. If we used traditional pliers, we would have needed to buy two sets to fit two different animals.