The Ketchum kit's come in 50D (2/16"
wide digits--standard tongs hold 6 digits), 101 (5/32") or 201 (3/16") width
digits. Check out this webpage for more info on the Ketchum kits. KETCHUM The
Stone kits come in #300 (3/10”) and 5/16” sizes. The #300 can be used on smaller
animals since the tool is not as large. The #300 comes with a 4-digit or 6-digit
tool, they will hold up to 4 or 6 digits. For larger breeds, such as Californian
or New Zealand, the 5/16” set can be used. The 5/16" tongs hold 5 digits. The
5/16” is also equipped with an ear release. This is a spring release to help
retract the needles after tattooing.
The tools/tongs are constructed of heavy metal. The digits on the Ketchum are
all metal. The digits on Stone, Weston and Bass have metal needles with plastic
The Weston 1/4" set is used mainly on the very small breeds. The needles are
smaller and shorter than the other sets offered. They have metal needles with
black plastic backs. The tool can hold up to 5 digits.
The Bass Grand Champion 1/4" can be used on just about any size rabbit. The
needles are longer than the Weston kit. They too have metal needles but with
gray plastic backs. This tool holds up to 5 digits.
While we have used all of the tattoo kits, we like the Ketchum the best for our
rabbits. The all metal digits are great plus with the very small digits (we use
the 50D) we can tattoo Netherland Dwarf babies at 4 weeks old.
There are several methods to restrain and tattoo rabbits. Try to keep the rabbit
as calm as possible to avoid harm. Keep it secure and make sure you choose the
correct ear for tattooing (this is the rabbits left ear). Clean it’s ear of any
foreign matter or dirt. Make sure the needles are clean (with a little rubbing
alcohol) and in the correct position in the tool. Testing the pattern on a piece
of paper will help. If it is your first time to tattoo, it would be best to try
it on a non-show rabbit first. Many good rabbits have been mis-marked or injured
by first timers. After the needles have pierced the skin of the ear, brush the
tattoo ink deep into the holes. Shake your ink well before opening it. Be sure
all the holes are full of color. Clean the excess ink off with a tissue or
cotton. A little Vaseline helps to remove ink residue. Don’t forget to check the
outside of the ear for ink. It can be cleaned off with a little Vaseline or a
Put the rabbit in a safe area then clean the tool and letters. Check the ears
the next day and watch for any infection. Many people use a tattoo touch-up tool
in case some of the holes do not appear clear. Judges can disqualify rabbits
being shown if their ear tattoo is not legible.
Let us know what we can do to help you make this task a little easier.