Branding Iron


Stan Misek
Chief Brand Inspector,
For many of you, calving season has begun or is soon to be in full swing at your ranch. I want to remind you at this busy time of year to keep a close eye out for strange vehicles driving around the countryside. You never know what that person might be up to in your neighborhood. If you see an unfamiliar vehicle, make a few notes of the make, model and color of the vehicle and try to get the license plate number. Talk to your neighbors to see if they have noticed any extra traffic in the neighborhood.
If you do notice an increase in traffic, call your local Sheriff’s office or the NDSA headquarters and report it to law enforcement officers as soon as possible. A fieldman or I will come out to the area to conduct night patrols right away.
NDSA brand inspectors will require producers who market baby calves at the auction markets during the heavy calving season to complete and sign an affidavit noting their proper ownership.
I would also like to remind those who purchased bred cows and rebranded them that you will have to prove ownership on the other brands on the animal. It is best to bring your brand inspection paperwork along, with you to the auction market.
If you are branding cows or yearlings, make sure they are dry. If they have a good amount of winter hair, it is a good idea to clip the area in which you wish to place the brand. You will be able to better apply your brand in the clipped area without blotching the image. Those blotched brands don’t help in securing the return of a stray animal to their proper owner.
When branding, you should also be sure you are using the proper size of branding iron. Don’t use a calf iron to brand cows or yearlings. The smaller brands won’t show up on the animal as well as brands applied with a fullsized iron. This is especially true in the winter, when cattle have grown winter coats.
I hope everyone enjoyed the warm temperatures last month and that your calving season goes smoothly.








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