Many of you have been branding your cattle on the ranch, among other things like dehorning, castrating and tagging. A recent post on the Smithsonian.com really helped explain the nomenclature that goes along with cattle branding.
|This is a wild rag folks. Image courtesy of eaglebrandcowboytack.com|
I (Robin) am an Indiana native. I attended college in Kansas, and was introduced to the cowboy way of life in Manhattan, Kan., at Kansas State University. I thought I knew a lot about cattle, but these kids schooled me. I had never seen anyone wear spurs or a wild rag to class (nor fully understood their purpose), but I got quite an education in the “western lifestyle” while at K-State!
When I came across this blog post called, “Decoding the Range: The Secret Language of Cattle Branding” I had to read it! I loved it. According to the article, cattle branding dates back to 2700 BC. But the act itself is synonymous with the Old West, where brands identified a cow’s owner, protected cattle from rustlers or cattle thieves and helped separate them at the stockyards.
Also, I always wondered what made a lazy A vs. a walking A – got it now!
There are so many variations of the letters used for brands. Here’s a visual list created by the Smithsonian.
|Cattle branding is as old as the West itself. Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org|