Welcome Note

HV8 is the cattle brand used by Home Valley Station to identify our cattle.

The origin of branding livestock dates from 2700 B.C. Paintings in Egyptian tombs document the branding of oxen with hieroglyphics. Ancient Greeks and Romans marked livestock and slaves with a hot iron. Hernando Cortez introduced branding from Spain to the New World in 1541, when he brought cattle stamped with his mark of three crosses. There has never been anything to take the place of a visible brand as a permanent definitive mark of ownership and deterrent to theft. Livestock people say "a brand's something that won't come off in the wash."

The original Spanish brands were, as a rule, complicated, and beautifully rich in design, but not always practical. The early American ranchers wanted more simple designs that were easy to remember, easily made, that did not blotch, and that were hard to alter. Australian stockman have adopted a similar simple approach, and in our case we have chosen HV8.

Brands, both hot iron and freeze brands, are recorded by state livestock agencies in Australia. The agencies can also record the location you place the brand on the animal. You may not register a particular brand if the same symbols and location have already been registered by someone else in your area. It is important, not only to register a brand correctly, but to keep it active. Like most registrations, brand registrations do expire.

In the USA, registered Arabian horses have the same type of brand on the right side of the neck, and US thoroughbred horses have registration numbers tattooed under their upper lips.

Branding is very important in proving ownership of lost or stolen animals. An unbranded animal is called a "cleanskin," and is almost impossible to legally identify. No other way is as easily visible as branding, not only for identification, but as a deterrent to theft. Other methods such as ear tags and implanted computer chips are positive identification, if a new owner is aware of them, but hot or freeze brands are highly visible and hard to alter. "Trust your neighbours, but brand your stock."

The most popular locations for brands on horses are the left or right hip or the left or right shoulder. Other less common locations are ribs, stifles, and jaws. Cattle are usually branded on hips and ribs.  The best way to learn more about the Pastoral Enterprise at Home Valley Station is to take part in the annual Kimberley Heritage Cattle Drive.