Branding questions

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RedRockRanch

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Newb questions:
When you buy cattle that have an existing brand already, what's the common practice? Just put your own next to it?
I'm about to order my electric branding iron with 2 simple alphanumeric characters. For the same price I can get the letters sized anywhere between 2 and 4 inches. Is there any reason to go with one size over another?
thanks
 

dun

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First of all you have to have your brand and location approved by whoever in your state manages the brand book/requirements. Some places it's the state, others it's the county. Locate your local brand inspector and find out the law before you start slapping a brand on cattle/horses.
 

novatech

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I have rarely, if ever, seen cattle with 2 brands.
As far as size, it needs to be big enough so the burns don,t run together. In the old days, when cattle were pretty wild, the brands were fairly large. I have an old King Ranch brand over a foot across.
Dun is on the money on getting it regesterd before you use it.
 
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RedRockRanch

RedRockRanch

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I got my brand registered with the county several weeks ago. My question is more around the fact that I've got a cow and a heifer with 2 different brands from their previous owners. I also have one heifer calf I can brand with my own registered brand. I've taken pictures of the brands on their hips in case they get out, and I have bill of sales to prove their mine. It just seems a bit odd not to have my brand on cattle I own...albeit it will only be a few. Obviously I'll be putting my own brand on all new calves. I'm ordering my iron soon so I'll likely go with the 4".
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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We freeze brand, and have three cows in our herd that have another brand from a different ranch. Two of them have burn brands, and one is a freeze brand. In our case, the brand is in a different location than ours (the burn brands are on left ribs, the freeze brand is on the opposite shoulder). So there was no problem branding ours. Our brand is 6 inches, and I wish it was a bit smaller (maybe 4 inches). We wait until calves are weaned or yearlings before we brand new calves. Cattle bought get time to settle in, then get branded when the group of calves are getting branded.
Hope that helps!
 

TXBobcat

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To me, a brand is not only proof of ownership, it is also advertising. For example, if a ranch is selling private treaty heifers, a lot of times they want their brand on the cattle before they leave their property, even if you made an agreement to purchase the the animal before it was branded. That way, when someone is looking at that heifer down the road (on your place), they can know where it orignally came from. They might want to get one of them nice heifers too. ;-)

Personally, we don't re-brand any bought cattle that already have brands. I just record the markings on the cattle, and your proof of ownership is your bill of sale if any questions ever come up. The only thing I might change is the ear tag to fit into our tagging system.

As far as iron size, if you're only going to get one, a 4" iron should work pretty good.
 

cowboy43

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The trouble with branding is if they get out on the road and kills someone they can trace it back to you,if not branded , you ain't never seen that cow before, that's the reason you should raise mixed breeds where no two look alike, you name each one and can reconize by sight.
 

cow pollinater

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I brand everything regardless of what other brands they have. How else will my neighbors recognize my cow if she gets mixed up with theirs? If she gets poached and the sheriff finds the hide, how will I ever know if my brand isn't even on her? What if I get pulled over after dark(actually happened to me once) with a trailer of cattle and law enforcement wanting to know RIGHT NOW how I'm going to prove these are mine... Thank God that C hanging P they saw on the cows ribs matched the one on the door of my truck...
 

Gators Rule

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cowboy43":2xui5bq6 said:
The trouble with branding is if they get out on the road and kills someone they can trace it back to you,if not branded , you ain't never seen that cow before, that's the reason you should raise mixed breeds where no two look alike, you name each one and can reconize by sight.

simple solution. Carry farm liability insurance and be able to get an honest night's sleep. It's not expensive.

:)
 

m&kCattle

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Remember the brand will grow, so like said above use the smaller on calves and larger on cows.
 

Nite Hawk

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Branding practices vary from location to location, and best bet would be to ask your local barnd inspector what the rules are in your area.
I have seen cattle with 4 or 5 different brands on their hide, so there you go.
Things and rules are different in different areas.
Some people have serveral different brands registered. One for the calves that are born on your farm and a different one for cattle that are bought and brought in.
Easy way to tell the difference between farm born and bought cattle if you have a large number of same breed critters floating around.
About animals getting hit on the highway, it depends on the area where you are. In some open range areas, if you smack into a cow, your insurance or you pay for the cow no matter what the damage is to yourself. In other areas, if you don"t have "home owners" insurance or equivalent YOU pay the costs. Find out what the rules are in your area, and go from there.
Nite Hawk
 

John SD

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If your brand is duly registered there should be no problem with putting it on an animal along with a previous brand that you have a brand clearance for.

I would be cautious about using freeze brands. As far as I know, a freeze brand is NOT legal ID in SD. Only hot iron brands registered with the state.
 

Nite Hawk

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Not too familiar with freeze brands, but people tell me that if you leave a freeze brand on long enough it looks just like a hot iron brand with a hairless scar. If this is correct who it to tell the difference between a freeze brand that has been left on for a long time and a hot iron?
NIte Hawk
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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Nite Hawk":414u302i said:
Not too familiar with freeze brands, but people tell me that if you leave a freeze brand on long enough it looks just like a hot iron brand with a hairless scar. If this is correct who it to tell the difference between a freeze brand that has been left on for a long time and a hot iron?
NIte Hawk

Some of our first branded cattle, done with our vet, I am pretty sure are hairless. We will see in the spring when they shed out. But, when you can get a good look, they just look bald. So, like a burn brand without all the scaring.
In MO, a freeze brand is just as legal as a burn brand.
 

Nite Hawk

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a lady I know freeze brands horses, and she said they do grays so have to have a bald brand, and they simply leave it on longer than normal..
I hear that people who tan the hides don"t like burn brands because it messes up a section of the hide. Wonder if freeze branding messes up the hides too, or is "nicer" on the hide quality?
Nite Hawk
 

Dave

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I have seen lots of cattle with two or more brands on them. I buy older cows and I brand every one of them when they come on the place. Some of them already have brands on them. The most I have seen is five brands. For me it makes it easier to add my brand to the mix. If I lose or misplace the brand release papers on the original brand it doesn't matter because they have my brand. Just be careful not to place your brand on top of an existing brand. For example a few years ago I bought a cow with two brands on her right hip (the location for my brand). It took a little searching to find a spot with enough open hide to add my brand.
 

Rangenerd

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If you are only branding cows I would go with a 3 or 4 inch iron. If you want to brand calves also buy a 2 inch iron. Here in the west, there are lots of cows with 2 and 3 irons on them.
 
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