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Maverick (animal)

maverick animal clinic, maverick animal hospital
Maverick or cleanskin animals, usually cattle, are animals that do not carry a brand[1]


  • 1 Names
  • 2 History
    • 21 American Old West
    • 22 Modernity
  • 3 References


The term maverick is from Samuel Maverick, who, among his other claims to fame, was notorious for not branding his cattle

Other US terms for unbranded cattle include slick,[1] hairy dick,[2] and, in Spanish-speaking areas of the Southwest, orejano[3] In other parts of the world, different terms are used In Australia and New Zealand, for example, an unbranded animal is a cleanskin[4]


American Old West

In the period of the United States open range, such animals were relatively common Many cows would give birth in wild or semi-wild conditions, not be located in an annual round up, and their ensuing calf could thus grow to maturity without having been captured and branded for ownership In the code of the American Old West, such animals could be branded and claimed by any rancher able to capture and brand the animal[1]


In modern times, there are few true mavericks, as most cattle run on private ranches, usually calving close to a ranch where young calves are easily captured and branded prior to being turned out to grazing leases on public lands When a mature, unbranded animal is found today, the most common practice is to make a concerted effort to locate a possible owner, and then, if the animal cannot be identified, to put it up for public auction at a sheriff's sale, where the proceeds usually cover the cost of impounding the animal and attempting to locate an owner

In addition to traditional hot branding, animals today may also be marked for identification by freeze branding, by tattooing, by ear tags, or by having a microchip embedded into the animal, usually in the neck However, in the United States, a hot brand is generally the only legally recognized method of animal identification on cattle, but the law varies from state to state

In some cases, modern animals may be left unbranded for several reasons This may include a desire not to have the animal marked due to its use as a show animal, particularly in the case of horses, or, in cattle, to avoid a scar on the hide if it is to be used for leatherworking Some modern owners do not brand due to a reluctance to inflict pain on the animal


  1. ^ a b c Slatta, Richard W 1996 The Cowboy Encyclopedia New York and London: W W Norton & Company p 235 definition of Maverick ISBN 978-0-393-31473-1 Retrieved 2009-04-26mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-right
  2. ^ Adams, Ramon F 1989 The Old-Time Cowhand University of Nebraska Press p 157 ISBN 978-0-8032-5917-1 Retrieved 2009-04-27
  3. ^ Slatta, Richard W 1996 The Cowboy Encyclopedia New York and London: W W Norton & Company p 267 definition of Orejano ISBN 978-0-393-31473-1 Retrieved 2009-04-26
  4. ^ Peden, Robert 2008-11-27 "Beef farming" Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Retrieved 2009-04-27

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