Sheep branding iron. Brand letter "Y". Used at both ends. Used at Newmarket Saleyards.

Branding Irons or Sticks are tools with the purpose of leaving a mark usually to indicate ownership or to track stock movement. In order for the hide or fleece of stock to be kept in optimal condition, branding irons at the Newmarket Saleyards were only used with removable materials to identify stock. Prior to World War II, tar was used for branding, and then paint was used. For sheep branding, a mixture of sump oil and red ochre was sometimes used so as not to compromise the fleece for shearing. Animals were branded on the shoulder, loin, tail and loin, or at the hip points. Brands were usually applied after stock had been sold to indicate owner or Stock Agent.

Physical Description

Sheep branding iron. Used with paint (yellow, red, pale blue and orange coloured paint are evident in layers down to base metal). Heavy metal square tube, supporting head at end with brand "Y" within a circle. It is bent near the connection and so may have been used from above. The end of the handle has also been used as a simple marker. Dark red/maroon waxy paint is built up in layers over end. White animal hairs are embedded in paint.

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