Horn Branding Demonstrations on the LBJ Ranch

The letters "LBJ" are embedded in the horn of a brown and white cow.
A cowboy presses a small metal tool against a bull's horn.

Why do we brand on the horn instead of the hide?

This is a common question that we get at the park. Horn branding is not very common because the brands have to be redone every couple of years as the horns grow out and the cattle wear down the letters and numbers by rubbing their horns on trees and other surfaces.

While it may take more work, horn branding is actually painless for the animal. Horn is made of the same material as human fingernails and as long as the brand doesn't go too deep, it does not hurt them (although it smells pretty unpleasant. Burning hair, anyone?).

By horn branding, we also maintain historical accuracy. President Johnson had his Herefords branded on the horn to maintain a cleaner look for when the cattle went to show.

A closeup view of a brand being applied to a horn while smoke rises.

Would you like to see horn branding in action?
Here is your chance!

You can watch the cowboys of the LBJ Ranch demonstrate horn branding.
They look forward to telling you all about it and answering all your questions.

  • Where? Meet at the Showbarn on the LBJ Ranch
  • What Dates? March 15, 16, 22, and 23
  • What Time? A 20-minute branding session will take place at 11:00 am and again at 1:00 pm each of the four days.

Last updated: March 11, 2023

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P.O. Box 329
Johnson City, TX 78636


830 868-7128

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