Tattooing

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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 backs.
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 its 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. Dont forget to check the outside of the ear for ink. It can be cleaned off with a little Vaseline or a baby wipe.
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.
BUNNYRABBIT.com