To save time and hassles associated with branding, Rick Curry from Ainsworth, Neb., brands his calves as babies. “Most people catch calves, tag, vaccinate and castrate new babies anyway,” he says. “It only takes another minute to slap on a brand.”

To brand calves at an early age, Mr. Curry placed a small generator on a piece of 3/4-inch plywood (14 inches wide by 3 feet long). He then screwed on four pieces of 1 by 1 trim, wide enough for the feet of the generator to sit in to prevent sliding. On the left side of the generator he bolted on a tool box for tags, blackleg, implants and brands. On the right side he placed a can with an old gun rack wired to it to hold the electric branding iron.

Mr. Curry set the plywood workstation on the front of his 4-wheeler and strapped it on with a 1-inch pull strap. He uses a 4-foot rope with a snap on one end and a ring on the other to make a loop. Shortly after a calf is born, he catches the calf, puts the loop over the back leg and snaps the rope to the ring on the 4-wheeler platform, he then starts the generator and quickly processes the calf.

Mr. Curry says this saves him time in late spring, when most producers brand, because he doesn’t have to worry about gathering cattle or setting up corrals. He also doesn’t have to spend two weeks helping his neighbors brand, because with his system he can do it on his own. Another advantage is that branding calves early, prevents theft early.