If you’re new to Brahman, you’ve probably noticed there is a lot of variation on how different ranches use their brands and numbering system. The American Brahman Breeders Association requires a brand for a Brahman to be registered. The first requirement is for your ranch holding brand (i.e. BC, VL, M check, half-circle-L, etc). This brand is usually placed on the hip. We brand on the left hip, others brand on the right hip, and some even brand on both hips. This is a breeder preference.
The second requirement is that the animal has a unique individual brand, such as 458/7. Each breeder can select their own numbering system. Some breeders, like us, assign our numbers in birth order. So for example, Noble would have been the 7,458th bull born on the ranch. When we started BRC, we started with 1. So, currently our numbering system is in smaller numbers, and when we reach 999 females, then we will begin adding a number on the bottom, such as 100/1 which would mean 1,100.
However, this is just our numbering system. Some ranches use a system that is based on the animal’s birthdate. So for example, a heifer numbered 100/9 might be the 100th heifer born in 2009. There is no right or wrong way, it is entirely your preference.
Finally, sometimes you see a brand on the shoulder. A lot of times this is a sub-brand to identify certain divisions or cooperators of a major ranch. For example, the “R” “AC” and “M” shoulder brands identify cattle owned by Brandon and Rachel (R), Annie (AC) or Mollie (M). This is also the system that J.D. Hudgins uses to identify the different divisions of their ranch, like the HD for Hudgins Division, the “f” for Forgason, YL for Locke, etc.
In international countries, they do the shoulder brands a little differently depending on the country. Sometimes you will see letters on the shoulder, like a TE or FIV. The TE means embryo transfer and the FIV means a calf created by in vitro fertilization. Other times you may see numbers on the shoulder. This is a way that the breeders identify the sire of the calf. So for example, a calf with a number of “58” on it’s shoulder may indicate a calf sired by Noble (458).
We get a lot of questions about the management practice of branding. We get our branding irons from D&D Farm and Ranch in Seguin. If you would like to use the brands we use, you are welcome to call there and ask to order the same brands that Brandon Cutrer uses.
For our holding brand, we had it developed by Trey Harrell, who is a welder in our hometown. He is amazing and he can make brands for anyone if they need it. You can contact Trey at 979-559-0543 and tell him BRC sent you.
We are happy to help share educational tips about Brahman cattle and our day to day management. If you are interested in learning more about Brahman cattle check out our Brahman Academy virtual course. It’s $149 and is a very comprehensive online class that discusses all the aspects of raising Brahman cattle.