Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Branding...

This past weekend began our "season' of branding all of our calves.  So, for a good month, we're busy gathering the cows and calves, getting them branded and then putting them in their summer pastures. 

This was Peter's first experience with this.  I had him in his stroller on the back of our Mule and I think it's safe to say he went from being skeptical to a huge fan...




Carter has had a bit more experience.  In fact, last year, our biggest branding was on his birthday.  It seems that a birthday branding will be a tradition, just based on the time of year.  I have a feeling when he's needed in the pens, he might not be as excited as he is now about that :)  He had his bag of cheetos in hand ready to watch the crew work...

Dad tossed him a little remnant and he thought it was fun to play "fetch."

Then it was time for a little football with Daddy after all the work...


And, the lawn needed mowing.  Carter received this little gift this weekend from Aunt RoRo and her friend.  Needless to say, I think it tops his list of best gifts ever received.  How many gifts go directly from the box to the bed?  Carter can't sleep without this little gem right now.  He is in Heaven :)


And now for a few pictures of the actual event.  Here are the calves before they were branded...


In order to get the calf in a position to brand, someone on a horse must rope its back legs and pull the calf toward the rest of the crew.  Then two people on foot, grab the calf and "flank it" -- flipping it on its side and holding it still for the process.

In this picture, my husband has just roped the calf.  Two years ago he had never even been on a horse, and today he is working like it's been his way of life always.  He amazes me.

And here is the entire crew, each doing a different job.  There are two people holding the calf down, one on the front end and the other on the rear.  Another person runs in to give the calves antibiotics to stave off infection after they are cut.  Another team member is in charge of cutting each bull.  This is done to make the calf a steer...increasing it's ability to gain weight quickly and to prepare for a life of supplying beef to Americans.  Another shot is given near the hip by another person, again preventing sickness.  And finally, there is the brander...the one who brings over the hot iron and meticulously marks the calf with the ranch's brand...distinguishing our cattle from others (making stealing cattle a bit more difficult) and complying with state standards for owning/selling cattle.  This all takes place in about one minute.


Our brand...the Tepee C.


Here's to the beginning of a new crop of calves and the hope for rain and a good market by fall!



4 comments :

  1. Love them. All of them. Great pictures!

    ~Tiffany

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  2. This is awesome!! I am forwarding it to my friends:) Perfect synopsis of the weekend. Aaaand, cutest kids ever.

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