Branding time is an excellent opportunity to get young calves off to a healthy start. Processing a calf at branding time actually may reduce the calf’s stress load on weaning day. By distributing stress-causing procedures over multiple processing times, a producer can avoid placing excessive stress on the calf at the critical weaning time. These guidelines are recommended to minimize stress at branding time:
- Control dust by wetting down corrals or pens.
- Avoid processing in extreme weather conditions.
- Handle calves gently and allow them to settle in a pen before processing.
- Refrain from excessive chasing or running calves before processing.
- Restrain calves properly.
- Work calves quickly and efficiently.
- Return calves to their dams as soon as possible when work is done.