Guide to Branding Your Lifestock

Branding your livestock is the only method to safeguard your stock and to prove that you own a lost or stolen animal. Hot iron or freeze brands are almost unthinkable to alter and are very visible. If you don’t brand your stock, the chances are good that you will lose your animals without your knowledge. Also, it will be harder to get your animal back once it becomes lost or stolen since you have no way of identifying it or proving that a certain lost animal is genuinely yours.

States differ on the rules they impose on branding cattle. Many state agencies record both freeze and hot iron brands in addition to the location of the trademark on animals. They more often than not do not permit registration of a certain brand if it has already been used by another farm animal owner within a certain area. Some states prohibit freeze brands on cattle. Consequently, checking your state regulations regarding stock branding is a must. You might be wondering why you are required to register your stock branding. For instance, if your horse is stolen or lost, you can alert your local brand authorities in addition to stockyards and slaughterhouses and show your horse’s brand info together with a photo so that they can view you horse’s marking.

So just how do you provide ample protection to your stock through branding? Here are the two critical measures:

1. Select a high-quality brand.

The brand you will employ ought to be unique but is simple and easily recognizable. Do not be concerned about choosing the right brand because the brand inspector’s workplace in your town will help you established on your preferences in addition to the laws in your state. Make certain to register the brand you have picked out in the brand inspection workplace so that your stock gets protection in the case of theft or loss.

2. Apply it properly.

Your state may require you to position the brand on a certain area of your animal’s body. You can also be asked to utilize a brand of a certain size so that it can be easily seen on your animals. The brand ought to be burned clearly and cleanly using freeze branding or hot iron. Don’t fret about using large brand because it won’t impact the marketability of your stock. In fact, animals with brands of the right size receive high market price.

When using a hot iron, ensure that it is heated correctly. It ought to have the color of ashes. If you allow the hot iron to become red-hot, it may lead to burning of your animal’s hair and poor-quality branding.

Avoid branding your animals if they are damp because it may lead to scalding, blotching, or soreness. It may not leave any marking at all. Also, don’t trust your branding iron to someone that has no experience employing it, as it could cause injury to that person or to the animals that will be branded.

Remember, branding your livestock will leave a lasting mark on your animals, so be sure that it is done right and according to the rules set by your federal laws.

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