Firebranding

Firebranding is one of the 3 options available to New Zealand Angus Association members for permanent identification. Fire Brands may be obtained by contacting Maxine at Leader Products

Phone (09) 444 6180
Fax (09) 444 1220
www.leaderproducts.co.nz

The key to any permanent identification is the clarity of the identification and branding is no exception. On many occasions a beast has obviously been fire branded but for whatever reason the brand is not identifiable.

Preparation

  1. A good set of fire brands are needed to start with.
  2. A good hot fire with plenty of embers, can be coal or wood fire. The way to get the irons red hot is by having a draught through the embers eg . using a forge or fire drum with adequate vents to allow draught or air flow.
  3. Light your fire well in advance of the start of branding to allow them to get as hot as possible.

The Animal

  1. Should be restrained in a headbale and the crush squeezed together if possible to restrict movement of the animal.
  2. Ideally the animal should be clipped, free of dirt/dags and dry for optimum fire branding.
  3. The red hot iron should be placed on the hide for a matter of a few seconds only. The colder the iron the longer needed to brand the animal and the more chance there is of the animal moving or jumping.
  4. Avoid over branding ie. Leaving the brand on too long as this will cause flash back or blob branding.
  5. The best brands will be achieved by leaving the red hot iron on for only a second. You need to apply good firm downward pressure on the iron to the required spot on the hide and then remove it quickly. Try to avoid letting the iron slip on the hide as this will spoil the brand end result.
  6. A good fire brand will be visible for the rest of the animals life once the hair is clipped off.

Recommendation

If you haven't branded before go and see someone that does it successfully as it is something that to do well needs a few years of practice. Unfortunately you may have to learn by your mistakes. Remember not to brand over the top of an existing brand if you have made a mistake or it is unreadable. Contact the Association and they will advise you what to do. It may be a valuable animal that you would like to sell to another stud breeder.