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Family Deer Farm Makes Most of Better Ear Tags


The Rentoul family have been farming in the Wye Hills, Wairau Valley for over 100 years. Jason Rentoul share-farms with his brother and father running 1200 deer, 1200 merino ewes, 800 cross bred sheep and 100 Angus cattle on their 1400ha property. 


Over 20 years ago, the family were expanding into deer. “Because deer move so quickly, other deer farmers recommended we get hold of a good tagger to avoid ripped ears or misfires.” This is when they discovered the Z2 No Tear Tagger by Z Tags.  


“Other deer farmers had already figured out that the Z2 tagger was the best tagging tool. Once we tried it, we could see it was too!” “The tagger is spring loaded. Instead of releasing your hand quickly to open the tagger again, it does it by itself and is much quicker. The retractable pin doesn’t get bent if an animal moves away quickly as it’s on a hinge.  


Altogether, it’s a superior design. Other taggers, you squeeze and then you need to physically let it go again and get it out while the animal is tossing its head. This tagger automatically returns to the start position. You are way less likely to tear.”


Very few applicators are specifically designed to eliminate wounds. The Z2 tagger is the exception. The tool incorporates a snapback arm and a tag pin which automatically flicks out. No matter how stroppy an animal, there’s no ear ripping when applying tags, mitigating the risk of injury to people and animals. 


“It doesn’t matter who is using it – you can’t really get it wrong. You are in and out and gone. It’s the best two-piece tagging tool on the market,” Jason says. “After finding how successful this tagger was with the deer, we moved on to our other stock. We now do our cattle and have started to tag the stud sheep. We have never used anything else because they have been so good.”



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The Z2 No Tear Tagger is ideal for applying NAIT-approved RFID tags, two-piece tags and pedigree tags. “In more than 20 years I have never had a Z Tag break with age. Occasionally, you will pick one up in the paddock where they have hooked it on something. The two pieces will still be joined together —so the tag hasn’t failed. That’s impressive really.”


The wide selection of colours is another big plus that flows through to planning and practicalities on the Wairau Valley farm. “Every year, every animal of that age gets assigned a colour. It doesn’t matter what species. From a distance we can tell the age of an animal, we don’t need to have a chart. We start rotating colours after 9 years when the older animals are gone,” Jason says.


“Colour coding is ideal when we are velveting stags. We can tell how old they are at a glance and can see from across the pen which are the old ones that need to be sold.”