Things you will need: Tattoo kit with the numbers you want to use, paper towels, q-tips, tattoo ink
I have only tattooed with my Weston tattoo kit. This is the kit most breeders use, unless they get another style or brand (Stone) , because it is less expensive than an electric one.
Tattoo's can be from 1-5 letters or numbers. Alot of people who have an A-Z set like to tattoo the name of the rabbit in its ear. Others use different combinations for the ear number such as birthdate. I use the first letter in my rabbitry name, "K." Sometimes I tattoo the rabbit its name as well.
Tattoo's always go in the left ear. For newbie breeders, I suggest to start off with 1-2 numbers or letters. Make sure, by using a peice of paper for a test, that the numbers or letters aren't upside down. Once you have the tattoo kit set up right, you may want someone else to hold the rabbit for you if it decides to jump around. Alot of rabbits do this, but some take it easy.
Restrain the animal as best you can. Make sure you have the left ear and put their ear inside the clamp. Check for the vein in the rabbits ear, if you hit it, it will get bloody. Try to tattoo below or above it, but not into the fur or it won't be readable. Remember if a tattoo can't be read, most judges will disqualify it.
Once you have located the spot in the ear where you will tattoo, hold the animal with your arm, and the ear with your fingers, and use your other hand, the one with the tattooer to tattoo the rabbit. Squeeze the handles together and hard. The harder you do it, the deeper the holes will go into the ear and the better the tattoo will be. While you hold the clamp and are tattooing the rabbit, it will probably jump or scream. Don't let it distract you or you will probably end up messing up and having to do it again.
Release the clamp and dip a q-tip into the ink jar. Hold the ear open and rub the ink into the holes of the tattoo and rub hard, and try to get the ink in deep. Leave the ink on there for about a week before trying to clean it off. That is the only way the skin can heal with the ink inside.
If you hit the vein and the rabbit is bleeding, immediatly try to stop it by holding a paper towel over it. Once it seems to stop bleeding or slows down, apply the ink. The ink usually stops the bleeding once it dries, but if it's applied while the rabbit is bleeding bad, it will wash the ink away.
The good way to tell if you have
done a good tattoo, is to check the back of the ear. If you can make the
letters out on the back of the ear, or even read it, then it will probably
be a great tattoo that will last the whole rabbits life.
If the rabbit is a baby or is sharing a cage, put it in a different cage to prevent another from licking the ink off. If the ink is removed before it has a chance to set, it won't take.