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How to Use a Tattoo Pen

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

By Karen Goodchild, OK Doe K Dairy

I heard about the rabbit tattoo pens as a viable option to the tattoo clamp and a way to touch up tattoos that were fading. I thought I’d give it a whirl.

I bought both the KBTatts and the TBTatt to compare. I like the TBatt that All Things Bunnies offers due to the extra supplies available. Not only do they have a numbing agent, but they also have a myriad of ink colors and inkwell supplies.

I use the numbing spray, which seems to help deaden the pain. The sound of the pen is still a bit scary so it really needs two people. The first time I tried it, I used a disbudding box and was alone; I don’t recommend that option.

Goats are definitely not bunnies and will not stay still while buzzing their ear. While it appears I am strangling the goat on the photos while Miranda Brown of B13 Ranch, tattoos, I was simply trying to keep her head still for a legible tattoo.

I purchased the Danger Zone orange and Apple Blossom green. I planned to use orange for new tattoos and green for touch ups, but haven’t been brave enough to try that pop of color until I can write more legibly.

All Things Bunnies has an excellent video on how to tattoo bunnies. It was trial and error for me to determine how far out the needle should extend. There is a set screw to adjust the height of the stainless steel tip to expose the needle length.

As with a clamp, the ear should be cleaned before starting. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball is a good way to get out dirt, debris, and wax. Fill the reservoir with ink to avoid touching the needle to the bottom and bending it.

Place the bottom of the ear over your finger so there is a flat surface underneath. This helps have a more rigid surface when writing.

The first time I tried the tattoo pen, it made me extremely glad I also microchipped. A judge once commented that it looked like “a kindergartener wrote it with a crayon.” To say there is a learning curve would be a fair assessment. The younger they are, the easier they are to hold.

When I was learning, I tried to “write” the full letter. Miranda suggested making short, quick strokes for a cleaner image. This will also avoid having mistakes when an animal jerks their head.

While I have not attempted to touch up a tattoo on a full grown animal, I have seen it accomplished by scissoring the goat between your legs to keep them still.

After tattooing, gently wipe off the excess ink and clean the pen. I clean by drawing up water into the pen then wiping dry.

All Things Bunnies also has replacement parts for the clamps.

ANDDA Newsletter April 2022 - Copyright 2022

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