Our crew of five branded another bunch of 149 calves today. My son built a new contraption over the week-end, and this one is on a swivel. It works good because you can line it up perfectly with the rope pulling the calf as it is dragged into position. Even if a calf comes in from the backside, the swivel allows it to turn completely in the opposite direction to accomodate the situation. Before, under those conditions, the calf had to be dragged around in a big circle to line up again. It worked good today to have the stationary gizmo next to the branding stove, and the swivel machine on the outside.
We are fairly sold on the new system of branding. Using just our own crew, it is easy to adapt to weather conditions. As cold and windy as it has been the last few days, we just flat postponed brandings until better weather came along. My wife and Saddletramp's wife went to a ladies retreat in Rapid City this past week-end. Mrs. Soapweed had wanted to attend this for a long time, but every year it was held on the same last Saturday of April that we used for one of our brandings.
Guess times change, and though I hate to break a lifelong tradition of trading branding help with the neighbors, these gizmos have sure made our lives more simple.