Applications for the Paint Crayon in the Livestock Industry

Paint crayons or “Chalk” as they are sometimes referred to, are used to temporarily identify animals under special management circumstances, such as in artificial insemination, doctoring, or culling.  The following is a breakdown of the more common uses in the three most prominent sectors of the livestock industry; Dairy, Beef, and Swine.

The most common use in the dairy industry involves heat detection for artificial insemination.  A mark is made on the tail of the cow that is expected to come into standing heat. Once the

mark is smeared or rubbed off, the cow is ready for insemination. A different color can be applied after insemination to indicate the source of the semen from a certain genetic line, the date of exposure, or to signify any other particular instance that requires special attention from the labourer.

Beef and Swine: In these industries, paint crayons are used to temporarily identify which animals are bred, expecting, or are ready for breeding. They may also help indicate which trimester of pregnancy the animal may be in. In grazing areas they serve as visual aids to identify those that have received veterinary treatment. As for confined feeding operations, paint crayons may be employed to separate animals that are deemed ready for harvest from those which require more feeding time..