That's an ear tag, in that picture below. You see that kind in cattle. Made of tough rubber, and large in size, you write a permanent ID number on it along with other info so that you know who is who.
And this particular tag belonged to my sweet cow, Ellie... She's officially gone folks. I clipped her tag off when I knew that I'd be losing her soon and decided to keep it.
She kept having trouble with her energy levels... Kept going down and each time it was a little harder to get her back onto her feet. I poured food and medicine into that little cow and we both fought tooth and claw to beat this problem. But she was too far gone from the beginning for my efforts to do any good. It was Saturday morning that I felt it was finally time for her to go; you can tell with animals, when they've given up and they're ready to die. Up until then, Ellie had been fighting and trying to get up. But by the weekend she was dull-eyed, droopy, and ready. I was prepared to dispatch her myself, having spent the last couple of weeks mentally preparing myself to do it... Hunting I can do, slaughtering animals for meat I can do, but when it comes down to dispatching my sweet and perfect milk cow, well, I think I might have cried after pulling the trigger. That cow was so much like Mattie that it almost hurt; and more often than not I would catch myself calling her "Mattie" instead of "Ellie". I was spared that task though... Ellie passed away on her own accord. I didn't bawl this time like I did with Mattie, and that's probably because I knew I had this coming. Last time I was caught completely off guard.
In the end, I think it's better this way. Even if I had been able to pull Ellie through this, she most likely would have continued to have problems for the rest of her life. This may have been the kinder route for her...
It's still hard to lose a cow though.