Thursday, May 26, 2011

Branding Season

Well, I'm on my way to central KS to cook for a branding. I am SUPER DUPER EXCITED!!! Next week I will post pictures of the food and the branding itself. For those of you not familiar with the process, history, and terminology..... I am here to educate.This won't exactly be a thesis, but just a small brief overview.

Livestock branding is a technique for marking livestock to be identified by the owner. Originally, livestock branding only referred to a hot brand for large stock, though the term is now also used to refer to other alternative techniques such as freeze branding.

HISTORY-I could yammer about the history dating back to Egyptians (really did) here is proof:
Marking animals dates back 4,000 years,  but lets focus on modern day Midwestern history. The modern custom was brought to America by the Spaniards  and refined by the vaqueros.Branding was first made mandatory when those in New England were required to brand their pigs.

A branding iron consisted of an iron rod with a simple symbol or mark, which is heated in a fire.
Some ranches still heat branding irons in a wood or coal fire, others use an electric branding iron or electric sources to heat a traditional iron. After the branding iron turned red-hot, the cowboy pressed the branding iron against the hide of the cow.

Free-range or open range grazing is less common today than in the past. However, branding still has its uses. The main purpose is in proving ownership of lost or stolen animals. Many western US states have strict laws regarding brands, including brand registration and required brand inspections.

Most brands in the United States include capital letters and numbers,  often combined with other symbols such as a slash, circle, half circle, cross, and bar. Brands of this type have a specialized language for "calling" the brand. Brands are called from left to right, top to bottom, and when one character encloses another, from outside to insides.

For those of you unfamiliar with this process I hope this shed some light on the subject,  for others is might have simply been a refresher course.Either way, I hope someone learned something.

No comments:

Post a Comment