The livestock brand is one of the iconic images of the West. To this day, brands are the most reliable method of identifying the owner of livestock and make it harder for rustlers to steal. Here are resources from the Smithsonian Institute and Arizona Department of Agriculture to decode the somewhat mysterious language of the livestock brand.
Decoding the Range: The Secret Language of Cattle Branding
Venture into the highly regulated and fascinating world of bovine pyroglyphics
By Jimmy Stamp
APRIL 30, 2013
Arizona Department of Agriculture
Includes links to the current Brand Book and frequently asked questions about livestock brands.
Arizona Brand Book
HOW TO LOOK UP A BRAND IN THIS BOOK
Brands are read from left to right, then top to bottom and finally from "outside" to "Inside". images are arranged in the following order:
First are the Numerical characters 2 through 9.
Note: The number ZERO is sorted with the letter 'O'. The number ONE is sorted as the letter 'I'.
Following the Numerical characters are the Alphabetical characters A through Z.
Finally following the Alphabetic characters are the Non-Alphabetical shapes sorted as indicated in the chart above.
Note: a Circle is sorted as the letter 'O', Open A's are sorted with the letter 'V' more...