Branding Iron


Stan Misek
Chief Brand Inspector,
Many producers will soon be getting ready to work calves in preparation to turn them out on summer pasture. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when branding your calves:
• Make sure the livestock are dry when applying your brand. If the animal starts moving, remove the iron instead of trying to hold it in place. Then, reapply the iron. If you don’t remove the iron, the resulting brand will probably be unreadable. The bigger the branding iron, the easier they are to apply without blotching.
• Make sure you apply the brand in the position in which you have recorded it. If you turn the iron much at all, it will be read as a different brand than the one found on your recording. In that case, you could be subjected to a brand hold when you sell your livestock at a later date. Remember, an unreadable brand will not always result in the return of your cattle if they stray from your pasture.
• If you are going to a new area for summer grazing, get to know who your new neighbors are in case your livestock stray. Give them your contact information so they can get a hold of you. There is nothing worse than not knowing whose livestock are running around the neighborhood in an area where they aren’t supposed to be. I receive several calls every year asking for assistance in proving ownership on livestock that are running at large. If livestock are found to be repeatedly running at large, the owner could find themselves with charges filed against them, as there are laws in the North Dakota Century Code pertaining to livestock at large.
I would also like to welcome Blaine Northrop back to the NDSA brand inspection team. He returned from his role as a livestock investigator in Nevada to work as a fieldman for the NDSA.
Driving through the countryside for local inspections, I have seen the toll that this winter took on our fences. Remember that good fences make for good neighbors.






North Dakota Stockmen's Association * 407 S. 2nd St. * Bismarck, ND 58504 * 701-223-2522 *