Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Branding Season Started

Couldn't get in the fields this weekend, so they decided it was a great time to brand and run the calves through. 

Be afraid!  Hubby with a needle
All the new little babies got their shots and brands.  A few got tags and some got banded. 
I don't think this little guy like it much!
If you don't know what banding is, I will try to put it politely.  The bully calves that won't be kept for breeding purposes get their man-hood taken.  This can be done by cutting or banding.  My parents cut, my in-laws band.  It's a matter of preferences in most cases.  When they are banded, a tight, little elastic band is secured around their, ahh-hems.  Not sure which I prefer, either ones gotta be painful.  Poor little guys!

Anyway, life goes on and the guys proceeded at their tasks.  At the in-laws, this is usually an event filled with plenty of our friends and beverages and food and some wives there for moral support.

Part of the branding crew
And yes, at both farms, we use the shuttles and cradles.  Lazy? Easier?  I don't know.  But neither of us have horses and enough people (or calves) to waste the energy on roping the little guys and wrestling with them.

Good snag brother!
To start the process, all the calves are sorted from their mama's and pushed into the corals.  Two or three guys are in charge of pushing a group of the calves to the holding pen so they can be pushed through the shuttles easier. 

These guys are waiting their turn
Brother M and another friend pushed the calves through the "alleyway" into the shuttle
After the calves are all worked, they are moved back to the pasture with their mama's.  This is always a fun time and because I was part of the fiasco, I didn't get any pictures.  This may be were MORE beverages were consumed.  People on 4-wheelers or driving the Ranger or in the tractor with a bale of hay to get them movin' and beverages.  Yes, I know, we are all about safety around here!

After all the fun is done, the food that the woman prepared (myself included!) is set out for the hungry, tired, dirty, stinky guys to eat.  Which then turns into a night of cards and more beverages.  I may have joined in more on this activity!
And no, those cans are NOT all mine.  I just happened to be sitting by the can pile.
Over all, a productive day!  A little drizzle and sleet and no sun. 
I was in charge of keeping these 4 little guys that decided to sneak through the one fence that is a little larger then others.  I lost the same one 3 times! The first time, secretly, I wanted to see if it would really go through.  The second and third time, he was faster then me!

Enjoy the planting season and the thought of a nice Spring!


  1. Sounds like you guys had a really good time branding! Glad you made it thru safely! :) I loved the way you explained about banding, nice job!

  2. Enjoying your blog:) Interesting, detailed post! :) Poor little guys!