Reading Cattle Brands

How To Read A Cattle Brand

Reading Cattle Brands is pretty simple if you just have to know a couple of rules. In the same way that we read the English language from left to right, and from top to bottom; Cattle Brands are read the same way:

Brands are read from left to right, from the top down or from the outside to the inside.

If a letter or symbol is made backwards from its normal position, it’s read as a reverse.

A letter partially over on its face or back is said to be tumbling.

If a letter lies horizontally on its face or back, it is called lazy.

Letters with a curving flare at the top and rounded angles are called running

Adding a dash to the left and right of a letter, at the top, is called a flying letter.

Add legs and it is called a walking letter.

A letter placed so the bottom touches the quarter circle is said to be rocking. In this instance, the brand would probably be called the anchor.

Curves not attached to letters are known as quarter circles or half circles, depending on the arc.

Letters or symbols formed together are called connected, except when one is below the other. In that case, the lower symbol is said to be swinging or hanging.

In registered brands, owners sometimes omit the words “connected” or “swinging,” thus, it might be read simply Diamond J, rather than Diamond Swinging J.

Besides the traditional letter and figure brands, there are marks known as character or picture brands.