An Interview with Jim Meckiff from Allflex

While out enjoying the New England Merino Field days, I came across Jim Meckiff, Sheep Business Manager for Allflex based in the Armidale and New England Region of NSW.

Not only did Jim update me on their success with the Allflex RapID Tags, but I was able to teach his girls Mabel, Violet and Polly that the taste they just experienced in their biscuits was not pepper but indeed ginger (a personal pet hate of my own btw).

More Australian farmers are enjoying the benefits of EID in their cattle and are now looking at the same technology for their sheep.

Allflex has responded to the growing demand for a lightweight EID (electronic identification) tag suitable for sheep with its RapID tag based on the well-established Flexitag in the Allflex 1 piece sheep and goat tag range.

These tags are HDX (which is short code for high performance transponder) so this makes for quick and easy tag reading. RapID tags come in belts of 20 and in 10 colours for convenient age indication.

The strips are loaded into a RapIDmatic applicator and applied like Flexitags.  But if you prefer, individual tags can be applied with the plier-type RapID tagger.

With the recent adoption of EID sheep regulations overseas, don’t be surprised if Australia is just around the corner, making this type of tag of interest to our sheep producers.

I asked Jim:

Who is buying Allflex RapID Tags?
The biggest demand is from Self Replacing Merino flocks and Studs.  The ease of recording lets them focus on breeding objectives such as fleece weights and fibre diameter.  This information is then used to benefits them further through the use of Rampower selection indexes or Sheep Genetics (SGA).

What do clients like the most about these tags?

  • They are NLIS accredited.
  • Fast application using RapIDmatic.
  • Wrap around tag.
  • Printing size and options.
  • Air flow reduces infection
  • The stem is durable preventing the tag from being cut out during shearing (If shearers connect with the stem it will lock up the hand piece)

How easy are they to put in?
No longer is tagging the slow job at lamb marking.  The RapID can be applied very simply and effectively for single use or, when speed and efficiency is needed, using the RapIDmatic applicator.

What is the best ear placement for the RapID?
It is usually best to follow the directions. Be sure to allow for ear growth, especially with big-eared sheep, because if the tag is too central it might cause irritation.

What else should we know about these electronic sheep ear tags?
Tremendous opportunities exist for sheep producers to use the Allflex RapID tag RFID for collecting data on individual animals and using that to assist with selection or management decisions.  Sheep producers no longer accept that ‘average performance’ is good enough.  Gains in production or reproduction performance   are easily achievable using Allflex RapID tag as a management tool.



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