It was a busy, busy weekend.
It began at 5:00 AM with riders gathering up cows and calves. The picture above was taken later in the morning.
Our daughter and her hubby came out to help us with branding the last 150 head of calves. Since there weren't enough saddles for everybody to ride, I stayed home and got the noon meal together so I could go out and help at the barn once everyone was back to the corrals with the cows and calves.
There was lots of riding to do...
bringing cows in...
and taking them back out.
There was sorting to do and insect control to apply to the cows and calves, so not only did we brand the last of the calves, but we also worked every cow and calf on the ranch. They all needed their dose of insecticide and we also sorted them into breeding bunches.
When we brand, everyone has a specific job.
There are calves to push up into the alley.
There are vaccinations to be given.
There is the actual branding, castrating (some of the bulls), and tattooing.
We tattoo all our calves in the inside of their ears so they will always carry with them their specific ID number. We use this when we register cows/bulls with the Hereford Association
and sometimes they are used when the source-verified steers go to the feedlot.
My job is to keep track of all those numbers as each calf comes through the chute, so I'm at the table with the book of records. I also get the tattoo-er ready with the correct number so my son can press it into the ear.
Yes, there are little needles that are arranged in the shapes of numbers. Once the number is pressed in, he takes a toothbrush dipped in tattoo ink (green) and scrubs it down into the holes of the number so later on it will be readable.
Hubs is applying the branding iron here as the calf is caught in the chute. Usually he and Grandpa do the branding and sometimes one of the sons does it.
I'm taking my turn at branding a couple of calves. As I said before, this is not my usual Branding Day job, but I like to say I branded a few too!