The cattle brand designs that are the least painful for the livestock are those that are two letters or symbols and that do not have as much detail because these designs take up less space on the body of the livestock. In order for the livestock to be branded, the owner must follow of the state's protocol for branding.
The protocol for those living in the state of Virginia involves sharing the brand sign before it is branded to ensure that it meets regulations. This also ensures that no one else has the same brand. Registration usually involves a fee and paperwork as well.
The Texas Brand Registration board asks that owners of livestock choose between 2 or 3 units or symbols when creating their brand. While it is possible to choose more, too many units or symbols can make the brand confusing as well as cause the livestock additional pain. It is recommended that owners choose a simple design that is easy to read as well so that there is not any room for confusion.
Brand registration remains popular with livestock because it makes it more difficult for another person to steal the livestock. While modern advances have added GPS tagging and offered DNA testing to prevent fraud and theft, the branded symbol is still the most obvious way for owners to recognize their livestock and to protect their investment from thieves.