What are RFID tags?

EID and RFID tags are two terms that are becoming more and more popular. The terminology along with the technology that is becoming more prevalent can be confusing, so here’s a guide of what they are!


RFID tags, eTags, and EID tags


RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification, and EID stands for Electronic Identification. You also might see the term eTag- this just stands for Electronic Tag.


These terms pretty much all mean the same thing, with a few variations. The various manufacturers of these tags market them under different names which helps make it a little easier to identify whose tag you are using or ordering.


eTag- Destron Fearing
EID tags- AllFlex, Temple Tags, and Z tags
RFID tags- Y-TEX


There are other manufacturers out there using some of these terms as well, but these are the ones we offer here at CattleVacBox.


These tags contain an electronic “chip” (also called a transponder), which can be read by a scanner or reader through non-metallic materials. This means that you can read the information stored in the tag without actually connecting it to anything else. 


What do I need to start using RFID tags in my herd?


To start using electronic tags, all you need is a tag reader, some RFID tags, and basic software on your computer. There are many forms of software out there that can do all sorts of functions with your scanned cattle ID numbers, but there are many basic programs that export to a simple Excel document which require little setup.


What types of electronic tags are there?


HDX versus FDX tags


HDX (or Half-Duplex) tags takes a bit longer to read, but allows for a greater read distance than FDX tags.


FDX (or Full-Duplex) tags read quicker, but the read distance is slightly less by a few inches. These are the most popular choice for livestock management systems.


840 versus 985 tags


840 tags are the USDA official RFID tags. They come with a 15 digit number starting in “840”. These tags are linked to your specific ranch or premise with a Premise ID number. This number is required to purchase 840 tags. It is a 7 digit number starting in “00”, which comes from your State Department of Agriculture.


985 tags are general tags that are not linked to your USDA premise. These tags are used for electronic identification where it doesn’t matter if the animals are linked to your specific ranch ID.


Click here to order ear tags for your cattle! 


Have more questions on electronic tags? Reach out to us for more information!