Tips to Design and Register Cattle Brands


Branding your cattle is a way to safe guard them against theft. It is also the law in states such as Montana, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. In most states, you have 30 days from the time you purchase your cattle until you brand them to remain free of any entanglements of the law. It is fairly simple to register a cattle brand. The tricky part is to design a livestock brand.

Avoid closed characters on your registered cattle brands

When you are designing a cattle brand to register with your state livestock department, keep in mind that close characters are easier to botch and harder to heal when your brand your cattle. The area within the closed area is more likely to be damaged. It will usually peal completely away and will be harder to read. Characters such as O, P, B, or anything that is connected should be avoided.

Choose two to three characters for your registered cattle brand

The more characters a brand has, the harder it is on the cattle, the person who does the branding and even the person researching the brand for registration. There are so many possible combinations and places to brand cattle, that keeping it simple will actually be healthier for your cattle.

How Registered Cattle Brands are read.

Generally, a registered cattle brand reads from left to right and from top to bottom. Thus, the arraignment of your characters is important when selecting a cattle brand to register. Another part of registering a cattle brand requires that the location of the brand be registered as well. In other words, where will you brand your cattle? On the left or right? On the hip, ribs, shoulder or neck. Some states also allow cheek brands to be registered as well. Keep in mind that if you register your cattle brand as a right hip brand, you must always brand your cattle on the right hip. Someone else may have the same brand registered; only the left hip is designated for their brand.

Once you have designed your brand, you will need to take it to your state livestock department to have it registered. At the office, they will research to ensure that the brand is not duplicated by anyone else. The registered cattle brand is good for three years in New Mexico. Registered cattle brands are also considered a salable asset. If you are having trouble designing a brand from scratch, consider purchasing an unused brand that is registered to someone else.

New Mexico Livestock Board

Colorado Brand Inspection Division

Montana Department of Livestock

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