How did Cattlemen mark their own cattle?
In the American West, a “branding iron” consisted of an iron rod with a simple symbol or mark, which cowboys heated in a fire. After the branding iron turned red hot, the cowboy pressed the branding iron against the hide of the cow.
How do you identify a cattle brand?
A brand is filed based upon its first letter or character. Brands are read from left to right, top to bottom, or outside to inside.
How do I find old cattle brands?
The books are often available in county libraries or state archives; some state livestock boards may search their records for a fee. If you’re lucky, the state will have digitized historical brand books. Search Utah’s Division of Animal Industry’s brand books from 1849 to 1930 on the state archives website.
What were the cattle branded with to identify them?
Hot Iron Cattle Branding Branding was once mostly hot iron, heated in a fire pit or barrel. Hot brands tan the hide and leave a scar where the brand was placed. This technique is still commonly used in large cattle herds like on this ranch near Colorado Springs.
Why did ranchers brand their cattle?
The branding iron provided a way for ranchers to stake their claim on cattle and other livestock while deterring theft from rustlers. The earliest records of livestock branding date back to the ancient Egyptians, but the practice came to America by way of European travelers.
What does a typical cattle brand look like?
At its most basic, a cattle brand is composed of a few simple letters and numbers, possibly in combination with a basic shape or symbols like a line, circle, heart, arc, or diamond.
At what age do you brand cattle?
The day starts off gathering the cows and calves from the pasture when the calves are about sixty days old. The calves are then sorted and let into a branding pen. Each calf receives a brand, vaccines, and is castrated if it is a bull.
How are cattle branded today?
In summary, USDA RFID tags are the preferred method of permanent identification in cattle above all other forms, including branding. If branding is to be used on a ranch operation, freeze branding is preferred and provides a more visible identification to supplement the RFID tag.