Ranchers.net Bull Session

Who branded early?

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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Soapweed
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Postby Soapweed » Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:51 pm

seed stock, you are right about "taking the corrals to the cattle". We had portable panels set up out in the pasture, so didn't have to drive the pairs very far. Another advantage is that dust is kept to a minimum by putting the corral in a grassy area. We will do another bunch in the same location soon, but will move half the panels over a notch so that the new branding will be accomplished on fresh ground.

Glad we're not trying to brand today, as the wind is in excess of thirty miles per hour. It's warm, and the grass is trying to grow. The half inch of moisture we got out of our snows a couple weeks ago is evaporating fast. Looks to be a chance of rain the next few days. Maybe our school's prom tomorrow night will bring on a good thunderstorm. :wink:

P.S. seed stock, if you are raising "seed stock" be sure your bigger crew doesn't mess up and castrate some of those good male calves that you are intending to keep for bulls. With a big crew, it's easy to have things like that happen. Or if more than one brand is being used, invariably the wrong brand gets on the wrong calf. Been there, done that.

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Faster horses
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Postby Faster horses » Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:57 pm

Soapweed, enjoyed reading your branding story. Sounds like a great way to go if you ask me. Branding used to be such a social time, then, like what has been mentioned on here, it is hard to get help. Going to a calf table turns a fun day into a lot of work (IMO). So what you did was the next best thing. It wasn't a real social event, perhaps, but you kept the fun in the duty.

We are sure interested in getting one of those forks from you, but would like to see how it operates for sure, or at least a photo. When you get time, I hope you will help us out by sending a photo.

It might have taken you a little while to get everything done, but I hate to be in a hurry on branding day. It is one of the most important days of the year. I can imagine how carefully everything was done with just the three or four of you.

I had a person talk to me about taking a colt to a branding and everyone was in such a hurry that it didn't turn into a very good deal for the young horse. What was the big yank? So they could get to the house and sit around the table and drink coffee. I guess I don't understand this mentality. Those good horses have to have a chance to be good. It takes awhile to get a green horse used to the fire, the smoke the people, etc. We used to say that if a horse didn't show he was gonna be a good one by the end of branding season, you just as well sell him and strart over. That was back in the days when horses were made by using them and the ranchers had an interest in how they turned out. Those places seem to be getting fewer and farther between.

mrj
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Postby mrj » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:19 am

Enjoyed reading all the great posts.

We still have quite a circle of neighbors we trade branding and other cattle work with. Haven't started yet, but suppose it will soon. We will probably be one of the last, waiting till school kids can be home. Most still use the branding fire. Some of us have Nordforks to help hold the calves due to track meets and such cutting into the available young guys to rassle calves. We also brand on grass with portable corrals. At two locations, they turn the cows out, then release the calves into the cow herd as soon as they are branded. Makes mothering up easy and leaving them in the same pasture after branding is less stressful on cattle and cowboys alike.

Sadly, the women don't participate as much in the sharing of cooking duties. Most of us are not "cowboys" either, and many have jobs away from the ranch. It's usually women in the family that share in the cooking, rather than other neighbors, it seems. Guess we should do something about that, as the visiting of neighbors is becoming a lost part of rural living. Guess we mostly do our visiting at church or local cafe/pub and other community meeting places.

MRJ

Sagebrush
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Postby Sagebrush » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:28 pm

Branded 350 calves on friday, same day as last year..lol. Had neighbors that I trade help with and some friends for a crew. Glad to get the main bunch done.
Last 2yr. old hf. calved today :-) and only 25 cows left to calve.

Patrick Waite
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Postby Patrick Waite » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:58 am

baling wire wrote:The wife and I did 85 head yesterday along with pregguarding their mommas. Will do the last two bunches next weak.Would be nice to be young again as we were both hurting by night. We gave up on the commuity brandings about six years ago because of the finding help problem and sorry cant make it to yours problem


We're going out to our first branding at the end of the month were my great uncle homesteaded in the Sand hills. If it turnsout the way I think it will maybe we can help out on other places.

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Northern Rancher
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Postby Northern Rancher » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:23 am

We use portable panels too so always on clean ground-as for colts at brandings we usually sort off a pen of the smaller calves for guys to work colts on or else if some kids are roping for first few times. I never would hurry up a branding so I could go fencing lol. The ones I hate are guys who calve in February and brand in June-kind of hard on the ground crew-we usually hold the front and back legs with horses on those big calves. Remember the right way to do it changes every 50 miles but the only table at a branding should be a picnic table lol.

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Clarence
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Postby Clarence » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:52 am

Yup, things change every 50 miles or maybe less. Thst's what I like about this board. When I was growing up, we were mostly a dryland farming community here, just barely made enough to live on. So we still have a farmer's mentality. We have the Sandhill ranchers to the south and the hard grass country to the north. Except for the irrigating farmers cattle are the main stay here now.


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