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Re: Cow Brands...?

From:Mark P. Line <mark@...>
Date:Friday, June 11, 2004, 19:25
David Peterson said:
> > And I was wondering: Does anyone > know > anything about the insignia used to brand cows or other livestock?
Cattle brands (and other animal brands) are in use wherever open-range husbandry is prevalent. Everybody's animals are grazing in the same space most of the time, and the brands are used to separate the animals by owner before they go to market. Traditionally, ranchers tried to design cattle brands which could not be easily transformed into a different brand. That's one reason why the more complex characters are more prevalent in brands (your "Rocking-P" cattle could easily be turned into your criminally-minded neighbor's "Rocking-R" cattle, for example). Cheap western novels are full of stories about how some dirty scoundrel in a black hat went and changed the brands on the hero's cattle. Umm, so they tell me...... In the US, cattle brands are registered at the county level. In Canada, registration is a provincial matter (AFAIK). Dunno about places like Argentina. I've seen sheep "branding" in the north of England, but they use splotches of paint in different colors. AFAIK, the choice of colors are only locally significant, worked out among the affected owners in an area -- no formal registration or anything like cattle brands.
> Is there some sort of website that collects such insigniae?
There are people who collect branding irons, so you can find online catalogues for those. There's probably a National Branding Iron Collectors' Association or something of that ilk. Some counties have an online directory of their registered cattle brands. You can download cattle brand fonts. Google is your friend. :) -- Mark


Barbara Barrett <barbarabarrett@...>Sheep "brands" [was: Cow Brands]