Year Letter Designations for Beef Cattle Numbering - CattleTags.com

Finding or creating a beef cattle numbering system is an essential part of herd management and organization. Here are a few tips to an effective numbering system:

  1. Cattle identification numbering sequences should not be duplicated for at least 10 years.
  2. You should keep your digits limited to no more than 5 characters for easy identification, 4 digits are the standard. 
  3. Numbering systems can be used along with color-coding, as long as your herd management records can reflect the data.

Examples of beef cattle numbering systems:

If you have an existing herd that will not be retagged, you can begin adopting any system going forward with future purchases and replacement heifers. If you have cows that you are uncertain of age, you can either leave the letter part off or use the oldest possible letter.

International Letter Codes *

International letters are designated for each year of birth. This option is easy to use in conjunction with numbers. For example, Z001 and Z002 might be used to indicate the first and second calf born in the year 2012

2013 = A                                    2027 = R
2014 = B                                    2028 = S
2015 = C                                    2029 = T
2016 = D                                    2030 = U
2017 = E                                    2031 = W
2018 = F                                    2032 = X
2019 = G                                   2033 = Y
2020 = H                                   2034 = Z
2021 = J                                    2035 = A
2022 = K                                   2036 = B
2023 = L                                    2037 = C
2024 = M                                   2038 = D
2025 = N                                   2039 = E
2026 = P                                   2040 = F

The Letters I, O, Q and V are not used.

* Source: Beef Improvement Federation

The Cattle Tags Store - Your Source for Allflex ear tags