Ranchers.net Bull Session

Branding methods.

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.

What method do you use to brand your calves?

calf table
20
36%
horse and nordfork
5
9%
horses only
0
No votes
horse and wrestlers
23
41%
other
8
14%
 
Total votes: 56

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ranchwife
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Postby ranchwife » Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:04 pm

sw...loved the picture...looks like our place during branding time...more helpers than cows at times!! :D our place is branding on saturday and we will brand roughly 200 head and have probably about 20 or so helpers...most of them will want to try their hands at roping, the younger ones will grab and pull and i will be the lucky one with the vaccination needles....so GET OUTTA MY WAY :wink: :wink: :wink: then, the fun begins...the beer, the barbecue, the fun!!!
Love wins....ennis, montana....June 14, 2003!!!
Never forget!

Cal
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Postby Cal » Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:17 pm

Saddletramp wrote:I know there are various reasons for useing a table but pride and tradition should still count for something.


Don't go and get all emotional now, Saddletramp.

If you only run cattle that's one thing, otherwise, it's pretty tough to get farming, spraying, fencing, etc... done if you spend too much time chasing brandings and following everyone elses schedule. If the spraying especially isn't done in a timely fashion when the whether allows it can cost big bucks. We branded for the fifth time today, ran 'em through 1 a minute and were done and working on other things in 3 hours with only 4 people. 2 more times (maybe 1) and we're done. I think the brand of calf table makes a huge difference. Powder River sucks. Cow Country's is very simple and balanced well with no bars to unlatch; women have no trouble running it. The last 6 to 9ft. coming up to the table should be narrow enough so a calf can't turn around and solid so he can't see out.
I'm just past 40, and pushed every calf to the table today, didn't get kicked but once, and wasn't tired when we were done. A little fine tuning in any process can make a big difference.

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Northern Rancher
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Postby Northern Rancher » Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:34 pm

WEll we clanged and banged a 100 or so through at the neighbors this afternoon-he's a great neighbor or else we don't go to table brandings lol.

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Silver
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Postby Silver » Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:08 pm

I don't think speed is the ultimate objective when branding, at least not here. Granted, everybody has their own schedule they have to follow, and their own different situations. When we brand here all our friends and neighbours come out. It's something people look forward to every year. It's where kids learn to wrestle calves the 'right' way, older kids might start learning to rope, and some knowledge allways seems to get passed down from one generation to another.
There's a big meal afterwards, beer and storytelling, and sometimes guitars and songs around the fire later. To me it's not about how fast or how efficient. It's about good times with good people doing good honest work like it's been done for generations.
We rope and drag, no shortage of wrestlers here... alot of the best wrestlers are women. Normally we brand about 60-80 and hour.... irons dont seem to keep up past that. We casterate with a knife at birth so that is out of the way. Just a couple of shots, irons to the horns if the paste we put on at birth didn't do it's thing, and of course a brand.

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Hanta Yo
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Postby Hanta Yo » Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:29 am

That's how we do it here, no other way for the kids to learn. Thanks so much for the opportunity to tell "how we do it" but the way you describe it does the best. That is how we do it, too. Would love to come to one of your brandings, Silver, you are most welcome to ours, even though we are 2 different countries on paper, we don't see those differences ANYWHERE my personal opinion. God Bless and Good Luck to you all.
'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession.
I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.'
-Ronald Reagan

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Silver
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Postby Silver » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:17 am

Hanta Yo, you are certainly welcome at our branding..... Montana will be well represented here as it is. I sure would like to get down your way and take yours in as well.
One thing I've noticed on here is that even though there seems to be some outstanding issues that divide us, by and large we are all the same people facing many of the same challenges in our day to day goings on. I hope people keep posting pics because it tends to drive home the point that we all share something special in our way of life.

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Postby preston » Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:22 am

Silver wrote:Hanta Yo, you are certainly welcome at our branding..... Montana will be well represented here as it is. I sure would like to get down your way and take yours in as well.
One thing I've noticed on here is that even though there seems to be some outstanding issues that divide us, by and large we are all the same people facing many of the same challenges in our day to day goings on. I hope people keep posting pics because it tends to drive home the point that we all share something special in our way of life.

===============
Silver,
You are so correct. Just because we have differences...be it individuals or country...doesn't mean we shouldn't stay focused on common agendas.

There is always room for..one more viewpoint....and many have value..folks love to be able to express it. Doing so,while one has the right to differ, should not cause a lasting negative view of that ..."opinion-nator". 8) I dislike when some allow ...egos...to intervene! :roll:
G. Preston
If you must doubt something,doubt your limits.

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Postby Rowdy Ranch » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:06 am

Cal, I would have to agree with you on this one-first off-there aren't many neighbors for branding in our area. Like you stated-when farming also you have to do it the best for your operation. Also this way it is less stressful on cattle when just our family brands- we run 450 prs. thru this way and can work at this and farming in the spring. Guess I should have said that we use the calf table method. What ever works for your operation is the way to GO!!!! HOpe everyone has a safe and fun branding season and gets needed moisture.

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Postby Soapweed » Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:02 pm

Today, the wind blew out of the north at a fairly high rate of speed. We decided it was too windy to do anything else so we could just as well brand another bunch of calves. We talked our sophomore son into playing hooky from school and getting in on the action, and I've hired another young man to fence for us so he got in on the branding also.

Being a small crew we had "flexibility" on our side. A good shelterbelt of cedar trees was adjacent to the pasture where the cattle were, so we set up a corral made from portable panels right behind the trees. There was hardly any breeze there, and consequently it was a beautiful day to do our job. Mrs. Soapweed packed a lunch for us, so we didn't kill too much time at noon. Five of us ended up branding 195 calves in about five hours. We had two ropers, two "calf contraptions", and three people doing the ground work of branding (a one-iron brand on the left hip), vaccinating (2 shots), implanting and castrating.

This bunch of calves was our second oldest, and there were some pretty husky buggers that would have tuckered out calf wrestlers. One major advantage of the "calf contraptions" is that they don't get tired, and they hold a big calf just as easily as a smaller one. We made better time today, having a bigger catching corral and two full-time ropers. Our oldest son had made another new contraption, so this certainly expedited the process. Anyway, the more we use these things the better we like them. Brandings maybe aren't as much "fun" as with a big crew, but they are certainly less of a hassle and we all get all the roping we want. :)

Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures today. Thanks, sw, for posting your nice ranch photos. It is always interesting checking out other operations by seeing how things are accomplished, and one picture is worth a thousand words. Keeping putting them on for the rest of us to see.

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sw
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Postby sw » Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:18 pm

Soapweed,
I still think your contraptions are worth having, just like the other day, we have 6 spring calving cows so the daughter has a 4-H steer, and it is only the two of us that needs to do something with these calves. You cannot call in the neighbors to help you with 6 calves, and you sure can get your ass beat trying to rope, wrestle, brand, vaccinate and castrate at the same time. Even using a tube, you need three people to git her done, if two people don't know what to do and how to do it. With your thing, I could rope the calf, get off and help the Mrs. sw with the work. I will trade pictures with you anytime,
have a good one
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. FREEDOM IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE BRAVE SO THE FREE CAN BE FREE.

HAY MAKER
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BANDING &BRANDING

Postby HAY MAKER » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:43 pm

Reading all these good branding methods makes me jealous,all I have had the last few years for help was two mexican boys and a four wheeler.Course I only brand replacement heifers,and I try to do it when we band bull calves,work em in the squeeze chute,guess there are as many ways to band and brand as there are cattle men...............good luck

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Postby mrj » Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:15 pm

Jinglebob wrote:Silver;

Hot iron from a fire wood and propane heated.

Rope and stretch calves between to horses and riders.

Knife cut bull calves.

7 way and whatever else they claim you need for shots! :lol:

Drink beer if any, only after the work is all done.


Pretty much how we do it. We do use a nordfork and some wrestlers, depending on how many show up. Think we may scoop some horns if any are found. I lose track of changes from one year to the next. Takes me a while to realize what they are doing, since I'm no cowgirl and stick with the cooking.

MRJ


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