I notice that when you write zeros to the first sectors
of the pen drive it gets mad about it
and you must make fsck and disklabel TWICE...

the first time, it complains,
the second time it works fine

I assume you have grub installed   (pkg_add -r grub)

I use the folowing procedure:
1) put the pen drive on the computer  it finds at da0
2) dd bs=512 if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 count=20  
2) fdisk  -BI /dev/da0
3) disklabel -w -B /dev/da0s1
4) fdisk -BI /dev/da0      
5) disklabel -w -B  /dev/da0s1
6) newfs -L FreeBSDstick /dev/da0s1a
7) mount -o async /dev/da0s1a /mnt
8) mkdir /mnt/boot/grub
9) cd /usr/local/share/grub/*/
10 cp * /mnt/boot/grub
11) cat <<% > /mnt/boot/grub/menu.lst
title FreeBSD on USB
root (hd0,0,a)
kernel /boot/loader
12) umount /mnt
13) grub --batch <<%
device (hd7) /dev/da0
root (hd7,0,a)
setup (hd7)
now just populate the /mnt with bsd and your system 
should come up...


Hope this will help...

Here i use 4gb pen-drivers running FreeBSD 7 with zfs...
it works fine and very fast...

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