Thursday, June 16, 2011

Branding time...

 It's branding time, and so far we have picked the right week to do it.  It has been mild with no rain since Sunday.  Ya can't brand when it's raining, even though we do our actual branding indoors with a calf table.  You really don't want to brand wet calves, plus, the insecticide that we put on their backs will wash off and be ineffective.  So sunshine really helps.  Most folks in our area haven't got their stock branded yet and by the looks of the weather, it's going to get soggy yet again.
 Here we've sorted the calves away from the cows.  
Poor mamas are waiting at the gate.

 The Vaccinator.
Terminating diseases one shot at a time!

 This is our ranch brand.
It's called Lazy YJ Bar.
 The Brander.  
He does an excellent job of keeping the brand clear and readable.
That is SO important.

 The Tattooer.
He tattoos each calf with a specific number that will be the calf's permanent ID.  I keep track of the book keeping and put the numbers into the tattooer and he presses it into the ear and inks it.

 The Bookkeeper.
I keep the book and the numbers straight.  
I also must watch to see which calves are culls or keepers, which are cut, which need a DNA test, and which pen to sort the calves into after they are branded.  It gets confusing sometimes, but I get a little help from the guys.  So far, we've branded about 200 head this week and we have just about 50 head yet to do.  We branded the first-calf heifers' calves (90 head) a few weeks ago.  I told the men that I think we should go on the road.  We've gotten so good and fast at branding that we could hire out -- as long as we could take our calf table with us.

On another note...
I finally got the potatoes planted!  And just in time for the next round of rain too!
I'm late about it, but even if we only get just a few "new potatoes," that works for me.  Have you ever eaten garden potatoes?  I remember the day our middle son, a non-potato eater and a little boy at the time, sat down to supper.  I had fried up some fresh Yukon Gold potatoes in the skillet and served them.  He tried them and asked me what they were.  When I said potatoes, he didn't believe me.  He gobbled them right up. I'm telling you, there's just nothing in the world like homegrown potatoes.  
I wonder if there's a song about Homegrown Potatoes?


  1. Good grief Miss Lily - you work cattle and still find the wherewithall to plant potatoes!? You're a girl with gumption for sure.
    And maybe you could plug in potato for tomato in the song? Or not, b/c I guess you don't each a fresh sliced potato & bacon sammy, huh? Well, I think you should just write a homegrown potato song in your spare time, k ;)?
    Bless you,

  2. Sounds like a big job! I agree homegrown potatoes taste so much better than store bought. I've grown Yukon Gold every year but this one.

  3. Now that was interesting!! I never knew there was a bookkeeper in the branding process - my ideas were all from old Westerns :)

    There is NOTHING better than new potatoes - dug fresh from the garden - boiled with their skins - and eaten with butter salt and pepper. It makes me hungry thinking about them! Ours are up about 4 inches. But that's the only thing planted in the garden so far. It's been a slow rainy spring here on the Island. Hopefully we'll get everything in this weekend.

  4. Gigi,
    Just to clarify... I planted potatoes yesterday, but I did finish up the lawn mowing today and painted the picnic table!

    I only put in a very few Yukons this year, but DIL planted lots.

    I'm not sure if there was a bookkeeper in the Old West, but I know there is always a tally. I guess you could call that book keeping!

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I enjoy reading each one.


  5. Have I ever eaten home-grown potatoes? I don't think so, unless I ate some of yours many moons ago.


  6. Seeing all this made me wonder what it smelled like...cows & branding and all. Love seeing your men in action and that cow getting tattooed made me smile. Never had homegrown potatoes, but gosh, if potatoes tasted any better than I already think they do I would be in BIG trouble.

  7. Okay all I could think reading this post, is Wren goes off to spend the day at the libary on branding days ;-)
    I bow down to you girl xoxo Clarice


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