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branding day!

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Shelly

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Today's the day! Oh, the bawl of cows and calves when they're seperated, and the smell of singed hair! Gotta love it! But sad to say, we're not doing it the "cowboy" way. We use a tipping table, less wear and tear on the calves and us. Today, it's me using the syringe, my husband with the clippers and branding iron, and our best friend running the calves up the chute. Best crew ever! Better get at 'er!
 

Northern Rancher

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Why would a table be easier on the calves-you better go watch a good branding crew of cowboys not drunk team ropers like they tend to get at some places. I've done thousands both ways and I'll take a good horse crew any day-the best table at a branding is a picnic table.
 

Jinglebob

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Northern Rancher

Amen brother, amen!

The system that Soapweed came up with is based on using a snubbing poet with a fork at the top.

The feller that told me about it now lives down near Soapweed.

He said they had an old cowboy who wouldn't or didn't care to work with others or maybe he just couldn't get good help, invented it or at least showed it to him. He had a well trained rope horse and would have about 20 calves in the corral with the forked snubbing post. He'd double hock a calf and slid the rope into the top of the forks and then ride on by untill the calf was snubbed up short. (just as in Soapweeds excellent pics)

Then the feller would step off from the horse to let the horse keep the rope tight. The feller would brand and work the calf and then step on the horse and release the calves and then do it all over again, until he was done. Seemed like maybe he'd do about 20 or so as they were born so that when he was done calving he was done branding.

We used this system on a small buch of calves, but my boys were small and they would just stay on the horse for control and hold the calf. I didn't have any horses who I would trust to keep the rope tight. Didn't work too bad at all and sure beat a table.

Looks like Soapweed has improved on the system and if people keep using their heads they may even improve on what Soapweeds got done. No offense Soap!

Of course some people don't have the knowledge or skill to know that a horse can be a damn fine tool. You can tell a lot about a worker by his tools and the shape he keeps them in!

As far as nordforks, or calf forks as they are called around here, if you've got some folks who know enough to slip a little rope once in awhile and then back their horse or ride forward to retighten, the forks work a lot better. I've been told that if you use motoercycle or maybe even bicycle inner tubes to attach the forks to the pin, that there is way less chance of over stretching a calf. All tho' I've seen a bunch done and nothing got hurt, just using regular tubes and common sense.

As for me, the perfect branding is holding both ends of the calf with horses, but then I like to have fun! :lol:
 

rancher

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Shelly said:
Today's the day! Oh, the bawl of cows and calves when they're seperated, and the smell of singed hair! Gotta love it! But sad to say, we're not doing it the "cowboy" way. We use a tipping table, less wear and tear on the calves and us. Today, it's me using the syringe, my husband with the clippers and branding iron, and our best friend running the calves up the chute. Best crew ever! Better get at 'er!


Shelly-what do you do with the clippers?
 

Les

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Rancher go over to shellys place and i am sure she will be more than willing to show you what they are for lol :p
 

Northern Rancher

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We sometimes park a kid at the out gate to hold the front legs off a horse. If people want to use a table fine but don't brag on how fast you go and how easy it is on calves. Brandings for one thing aren't a race least not in my neck of the woods.
 

rancher

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Les said:
Rancher go over to shellys place and i am sure she will be more than willing to show you what they are for lol :p

This does sound a bit kinky? Still wondering what she used them for.
 
A

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You have to remember what month Shelly calves in rancher. I think they might have a bit of winter hair that they shave off. Those winter calves always look rough to me if someone has a few in bunch of April/May calves at branding. They do bring in the biggest check most years, but there is a cost to it too. All operators figure out what works best for them I suppose.

I am doing some better in the rain dept. I would ask you, but I don't want to jinx you. It is spotty here.
 
A

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Just in case anyone has the thought in their head that Shelly is shaving them like sheep, I meant they probably just shave the spot that the brand goes on. :wink: I probably just should have let her answer your question. For all I know maybe they have a market for calf hair in Canada. :)

Maybe they make calf hair McCarty's with em.
 

Northern Rancher

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We clip any yearlings we have to brand it actually speeds up the job not having to burn through that old winter hair-makes a nicer brand too.
 

Les

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what i do if a calf has too much hair instead of clipping it I just brush the hot iron over the spot i am gonna brand and it burns the hair off and the iron is still plenty hot to brand with.
 

Shelly

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We clip the spot just where we brand. All went well, and everybody came out with no injuries, to speak of. Best friend got kicked once in the leg. I have a question, though. Isn't Soapweed's invention somewhat on the same principle as a tipping table? He snubs up their legs and so do we on the table. We didn't have to castrate, because we banded, so we just branded and vaccinated for blackleg. Calves were in and out in less than two minutes. The most stress they had was being seperated from their mommas.
 

Jinglebob

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Shelly;
If you are putting a rope on the backleg you are doing about the same as a calf fork, only you have a table with a head ketch or something to hold the front end and a calf fork is attched to a pin in the ground and the head of the calf.

Of course you don't have to have a horse to ketch the calves with your system, but with Soapweeds invention or something of it's type, you don't have to push calves down a chute and can even leave the cows with the calves if you want too, unless some are maybe too good of mothers! :lol:

Whatever works and you like, is probably the best way.

I do have a neighbor who went back to roping and dragging calves after he got a knife stuck in his hand, while casterating on a calf table. But I suppose that could happen with any way you branded calves. I've sure cut my thumb and finger quite a few times whiule casterating! But I'm kind of a klutz! And the skin always has grown back. :lol:
 
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Shelly, I hope you didn't take my comments the wrong way. I sure would never put down anything you do. I am glad your day went well, as branding can be fun, but also a good job to have out of the way. You add a lot to this board! Seriously.
 

Soapweed

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Speaking of cutting your fingers while castrating, I knew an old Reservation cowboy that cut his left point finger clear off while castrating a two-year-old colt. That is the trouble with too sharp of a knife. Being a frugal fellow, he retained the finger and made a key chain out of it.

A while later, his daughter who was in the fourth grade, told her classmates about her dad's fine finger key chain. She came home that evening and lamented, "Dad, they don't believe me." He retorted, "Take the darned thing to school with you and show them." She did, and after that, they believed her.

After the incident, he always wore his glove with the left index finger turned inside out. He was a colorful cowboy, and later died while horseback from a gunshot wound to his back.
 

Shelly

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the real jake said:
Shelly, I hope you didn't take my comments the wrong way. I sure would never put down anything you do. I am glad your day went well, as branding can be fun, but also a good job to have out of the way. You add a lot to this board! Seriously.

I never took offense at all. You were trying to explain the clippers to rancher, and throwing in a little comedy for good measure. And you're right about it being fun, it's alot of good conversation and good laughs. As long as everything goes smooth, it's almost a stress reliever. Glad it's over, though, my legs and feet are aching. Last five calves aren't getting branded, they're either too young to do or aren't born yet!
 

Jinglebob

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After the incident, he always wore his glove with the left index finger turned inside out. He was a colorful cowboy, and later died while horseback from a gunshot wound to his back.[/quote]


Sure, sure Soapweed. Keep us in suspense!!!! :mad: :evil: :wink:
 

Soapweed

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He was just riding across a pasture looking for any cattle that might be his, in a herd that had been gathered by his neighbor. He had announced his intentions of what he was going to do, and the neighbor told him not to. He said he believed he'd do it anyway. He shouldn't have. :(
 

3words

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I also enjoy branding season Shelly.It's a good day to spend some quality time with the loved ones,and close friends.It can end up being a lot of fun.
 

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