With the recent announcement that all sheep sold from 1 October 2018 will have to be electronically tagged, we look at some of the associated EID tag readers that are available on the market. The eligible investment items for TAMS have been updated to include EID tag readers.

The first option is a simple EID tag reader and software. This is an electronic system that reads the tag numbers of sheep and has the software to enable the numbers to be transferred to a computer. The reference cost for such an EID tag reader is €710/item, not including VAT.

The other type of EID tag reader that is eligible for grant aid is the PDA EID tag reader and management software package, which has a substantially higher reference cost of €1,820/item, again excluding VAT.

This system is able to record the tag numbers of sheep and additional information, such as weight, sex, number of lambs, veterinary treatments and management information, among other things, while out working with sheep.

The PDA EID tag reader will include a full keyboard on the reader. It will include a full management package for recording all information about the sheep, which can be uploaded to a computer or viewed on the PDA itself.

Scanning EID tags, instead of manually writing down an ear tag number, offers time-saving benefits, while helping to reduce errors. As sheep are being worked or loaded into a trailer, their EID tag can be scanned while they are on the move. Some readers have the capability to store additional information, which can be downloaded to a computer or displayed on a mobile screen.

Elite Tags

Handheld stock recorder with integrated reader

Price - €2,100 including VAT

  • This device works via Bluetooth and can be linked to a smartphone or a computer; it can also be linked to a small handheld printer.
  • It can store management information for up to 500,000 animals and caters for cattle and sheep.
  • Data can be recorded electronically, using the internal reader, or manually using the keyboard. It can be linked to weigh crates and drafting crates for automatic data capture.
  • The unit stores historical information and has options to record everything required for livestock management.
  • Users can record information such as age, weight, progeny, dosage, medical history, sex, ADG, breed, lambing difficulty, lamb vigour, etc.
  • SDL440S stick reader

    Price - €762 including VAT

  • This device works via Bluetooth and can be linked to any smartphone; it can also be linked to a small handheld printer.
  • It can store up to 16,000 animals. All the data is securely stored on the stick, available for transfer immediately or after the job is complete.
  • This device will only record the EID tag; no extra information can be entered. This device is targeted to farmers who are moving livestock constantly on and off farm. It allows them to record EID tags efficiently, while cutting out the paperwork.
  • The reader takes standard or rechargeable AA batteries, which can be easily changed in the field if necessary.
  • O’Donovan Engineering

    XRS2 EID Stick Reader

    Price - €1,276.74 including VAT

  • 2.7in colour LCD screen.
  • Fast tag reads, with feedback through vibrating handle with customisable alerts, such as cull.
  • Capture animal information, such as condition scores, in up to 15 custom data fields.
  • Bluetooth wireless technology.
  • 650mm reach enables you to keep a safe distance when scanning lively animals.
  • Wireless connection technology to connect to weighing scales or other devices up to 100m away. It has a fast-charging battery, which lasts up to 19 hours.
  • SRS2 EID Stick Reader

    Price - €1,035.66 including VAT

  • 2.7in colour LCD screen.
  • Fast tag reads, with feedback through vibrating handle.
  • Quick-access keys for simple navigation.
  • Bluetooth wireless technology.
  • Large memory, with the capacity to store 250,000 scanned tags.
  • Gallagher

    Price - €1,630 including VAT

  • Large display screen, which shows visual and EID tag numbers to confirm the correct animal’s information.
  • Read range of 270mm to 330mm and can record up to 100,000 EID tag records.
  • Enter numeric, text, date and pick-list type traits, for example breed, sex, condition score, pregnancy status or free-typing lameness. Can be used to record weight and display weight gain.
  • Link mother’s ID to newborns as soon as the EID tag is in place, add birthing details, such as sex, birthing ease, etc.
  • Read multiple tags in quick succession with one trigger click – no need to repeatedly click the trigger between reads.
  • Bluetooth wireless technology.
  • TGM Software Solutions


    Price - £694.95 (€730) including VAT

  • Battery capacity of up to six hours in permanent use.
  • Vibrate when a tag is read.
  • The stick comes with free software to enable management data to be transferred to computer.
  • AWR300

    Price - £934.80 (€1,062) including VAT

  • A long-lasting batter; up to 12 hours in permanent read mode.
  • A large colour display.
  • Large memory, enough for one million animal recordings.
  • Task mode and integrated database.
  • Connects to electronic weigh scales, phones and printers.
  • Psion/Motorola Handheld

    Price - £1783.50 (€2,026) including VAT

  • Large, higher-quality, easy to read touchscreen.
  • Long or short model available.
  • Faster processor.
  • Can link via Bluetooth to various weigh controllers.
  • Fully integrated with Kingswood Herd or Select Sheep PC software for efficient data transfer and analysis.