Bovine Art Appreciation – Paint Colors and Markings at the Sale Barn Tell You What You’re Bidding On

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about moving newly-arrived and unsocialized cattle around in our handling facility. There was a little video showing some of those cattle too. Along with some interesting comments, we got some questions from people who noticed that some of those cattle had numbers or letters spray-painted on their sides, and they also had funny little yellow stickers on them. “What’s up with all that artwork?” Well, turns out, moving livestock through an auction yard and transferring ownership from one person to another is a sort of complicated process. It includes tags, glue, paint and paperwork. Here’s How it Works (in Oregon) Different regions of the country have different rules, laws and customs. This explanation fits for Oregon and other Western states. As you prepare to unload your livestock, you should provide the yardman with a Transportation Slip. This paper has critical details about yourself and the animals. In return, they should give you a receipt that shows how many head you delivered, the date, and perhaps a few details about the animals.   Next, the cattle go to an alley way or a chute where the State Brand Inspector looks them over. (Most states east of the Mississippi don’t have brands or brand inspection at all, and inspection of animals as they arrive is done by facility staff.) She will look for your brand (if you have one) color of the cow, and perhaps also make note of all secondary brands or other ident

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