Tips for branding cattle correctly

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Originally, livestock branding only referred to hot branding, though the term is now also used to refer to other alternative techniques such as freeze branding. Other forms of livestock identification include inner-lip or ear tattoos, earmarking, ear tagging and RFID tagging with a type of microchip.

When branding cattle, it is important to remember these tips:

  • Perform branding quickly, expertly and with the proper equipment.
  • Do not re-brand feeder cattle when entering a feedlot unless required by law.
  • Make sure brands are an appropriate size to achieve clear identification.
  • Do not use jaw brands.
  • Ear notching may be used to identify cattle.
  • Wattling, ear splitting and other surgical alterations for identification are strongly discouraged.

Visit for more information on branding your animals or contact your state BQA coordinator. Additionally, contact your state BQA coordinator to become BQA certified and join a growing number of producers committed to producing the best beef possible.

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