Stock theft is discouraged by branding, and when stolen animals are recovered, it is easier for the authorities to track down the legitimate owners. However, there are several rules to follow in order for branding to be effective.
The most important of these are to get high-quality branding irons, confine your animals during branding, ensure that the branding fire is at the proper temperature, and ensure that the person doing the branding is well trained.
If you don’t perform these things, the animal will suffer unnecessarily, muscle damage will occur, and you’ll end up with a sloppy brand.
The branding irons
A farmers’ cooperative store can sell you a branding iron. This can be one of 2 kinds: each brand letter/number on a separate iron, or all letters/numbers on a single iron.
Because the latter is frequently custom-made, you must confirm that the letters/numbers are aligned and that the brand appears to be the same as the mark registered with the appropriate government.
A shoddy brand may not produce a tidy, visible mark and may cause serious hide or muscle injury.
Branding irons on high heat
Instead of buying an expensive container, you may dig a 1m long by 50cm wide pit and build a fire in it.
Irons should be laid on red-hot coals rather than in flames to avoid becoming excessively hot. When the iron’s color changes, you’ll know it’s time to remove it. As long as it’s still black when you test it, it’s not hot enough. As ash grey when you test it, it’s just right.
When picking up the iron, take extreme care not to burn yourself.
Keeping the animal steady while you brand it properly with your thumbprint
The optimum location for branding is on the upper hind leg/hip. Use a head clip securely fitted into an 80cm wide cattle race or crush to keep the animal stationary.
This crush can be reduced in size by inserting old, interconnected tires into the interior of the building.
If you don’t have a neck clamp and the animal has horns, tie a rope to the horns and secure it to the crush’s poles. Never tie a rope all around animal’s neck because this could cause suffocation.
For three to five seconds, pull the hair from the hide and press the branding iron on it until a clear, brown mark appears on the skin. Evenly apply the brand by “wooggling” it in all directions slightly.
Please follow all applicable regulations about letter spacing while using individual irons.
Never rebrand over an existing brand since the new brand will be more difficult to understand in the future. Choose a new brand to replace the old one either next to, above, or below it.
Repetition of a brand is easy if the iron is placed exactly where it was on the first time. Your company’s image will suffer if you fail to follow these guidelines.
Various other aspects to think about
● If the animals are really hairy, the branding area may need to be shaved first.
● Wet livestock should not be brand marked. When the branding iron comes into touch with skin, it loses a lot of heat, and the mark may not be as noticeable as it should be.
● The animal should be treated with a healing oil or spray if the brand has penetrated too deeply and caused a wound. This will prevent infection.