To protect your stock and prove that the animal in question that was stolen or lost is yours, branding your livestock is essential. Freeze or hot iron brands are very visible and virtually impossible to alter. If you do not take the time and make the effort to brand your stock, the chances you will lose some of your animals is very high. And when they are lost and haven’t been branded. you can forget about regaining them because you can neither identify them or prove they do in fact belong to you.
On the rules that they impose on the branding of farm animals, the states all differ. Both freeze and hot-iron brands are recorded by many state agencies, along with the brands location on the animal. If a particular brand has been used within a certain area by another farmer, they will not allow the same registration to be used. There are other states that do not permit freeze brands to be put on the cattle.
For these and other reasons, it is vital you check your state regulations before beginning any branding. You may also be wondering just why your stock branding is required to be registered. The basic reason is that if your animal is stolen or lost, you can place an alert with the authorities, as well as with the slaughterhouses and stockyards and show the brand information of the animal with a photograph so that all will be aware of the animals markings.
Take a look at the following two important steps concerning you providing your stock with ample protection through branding:
1. Carefully Choose A High-Quality Brand
You certainly want a brand easily recognizable and basically simple, but also one which is unique. And be aware that you will get assistance from your area’s brand inspector based on the laws in your state and your own personal preferences. Of course, register in the brand inspection office the brand you have decided upon so that your stock will be protected in the event of loss or theft.
2. Apply It Properly
It may be in a particular area of the animal’s body that your state will require the brand to be placed. And it may also be required that a certain size which can be seen easily be used. Then, using a hot iron or freezing brand, the brand should be burned on clearly. And be aware that the marketability of your stock will not be affected by the use of a large brand. The truth is that very often the market value is higher on a stock with a larger brand!
You must make sure that you correctly heat a hot iron before you put it to use. If it becomes too red-hot, it can lead to poor-quality branding and even burning the animal’s hair. It should have the color of ashes when heated properly.
You also want to not brand your animals when they are damp to avoid soreness, blotching or scalding. In addition, when damp, sometimes the brand will not take at all. And make certain that if you do not do the branding yourself, the person you have to do it has the proper experience to get things done right so there are no damages.
The bottom line here is that you want all branding done correctly and in accordance with all state regulations that apply.