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Branding with "calf traps" on the Soapweed Outfit

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Soapweed

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This kind of shows our calf trap gizmos in operation. We haven't figured out how to mass produce and sell them cheap. They are available for $250, plus 5.5% tax, plus shipping. We don't have a patent on the deal, so if anyone wants to make a similar device themselves, they are more than welcome to do so.

They work pretty well, but as with any contraption involving horses and cattle, caution must be exercised. The roper must pay attention to business and not go too fast and furious. It wouldn't be good to not look back, and consequently drag the calf over the top of the machine.

We are experimenting with putting one of these calf traps on each arm of a Hydra-Bed pickup. This would eliminate having to dig post holes to set the deal up.

One roper, two gizmos, and three people on the ground crew can process 40-50 calves per hour. We would only do 25 at a time, then let them out of the branding corral, and do 25 more. That is how many doses the vaccine guns hold, and by just doing this many per cut, it saves hassling the rest of the calves.

Thegather.jpg

The gather
PeachBlossominposition.jpg

Peach Blossom in position
Calftrapgizmo.jpg

Calf trap gizmo
Pullingintoposition.jpg

Pulling into position
Pullingintoplace.jpg

Getting situated
Calfsecured.jpg

Calf secured
Hornbranding.jpg

Horn branding
Headingforthemachine.jpg

Heading for the machine
Calfheldintoplace.jpg

Calf held in place
Anotherviewofthecalftrap.jpg

Another view of the calf trap
Byebyebull.jpg

Bye bye bull
Workingthecalf.jpg

Working the calf
Smokewithoutmirrors.jpg

Smok without mirrors
Pullingthecalfintoplace.jpg

Pulling the calf into place
Onemoreview.jpg

One more view
Martybranding.jpg

Saddletramp applying the brand
Doubleduty.jpg

Double duty
Calvescaughtinthetraps.jpg

Calves caught in the traps
Calftrapinaction.jpg

Calf trap in action
BrandingattheGreenValley.jpg

Branding at a different location
SteveMorelanddraggingacalf.jpg

Soapweed letting Yellowstone do all the work dragging the calf
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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thanks for posting those pics soapweed, very interesting lookin piece of equipment. Will hafta show that to Mr Lilly. Looks like it'd make workin the calves go alot smoother and faster.
 

HAY MAKER

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With all that good help & your ingenuity looks like you made short work of a lot of calves,I guess you are useing propane to heat your irons,I started useing electric with a small generator,sure makes it nice.
Thanks for shareing your day..................good luck
 

George

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Great pictures - - - with no more calves than I have I just run them thru the chute but I can see where this could be great for speed and safety of both the people and the calves
 

Soapweed

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HAY MAKER said:
With all that good help & your ingenuity looks like you made short work of a lot of calves,I guess you are useing propane to heat your irons,I started useing electric with a small generator,sure makes it nice.
Thanks for shareing your day..................good luck

We are planning to try using the gizmos attached to the Hydra-Bed arms of a pickup. If this pans out, we might also try using a generator located far enough away to cut down on the racket, and run a long extension cord to the rear of the pickup where we will be branding.

We did use an electric iron at one location last spring, and it worked good. The only thing is we just set up portable panels wherever the cattle are, so regular electricity is not usually available.
 

HAY MAKER

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Soapweed said:
HAY MAKER said:
With all that good help & your ingenuity looks like you made short work of a lot of calves,I guess you are useing propane to heat your irons,I started useing electric with a small generator,sure makes it nice.
Thanks for shareing your day..................good luck

We are planning to try using the gizmos attached to the Hydra-Bed arms of a pickup. If this pans out, we might also try using a generator located far enough away to cut down on the racket, and run a long extension cord to the rear of the pickup where we will be branding.

We did use an electric iron at one location last spring, and it worked good. The only thing is we just set up portable panels wherever the cattle are, so regular electricity is not usually available.


Soap when you get in the market for a small generator,check out the Hondas you will be surprised how quiet they are,I think they use em in travel homes because they are so quiet,course they are enclosed and insulated,but mine is pretty quiet,small & handy............good luck
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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I don't know what brand our generator is, but it's not all that noisy, cows don't mind it at all, does make for havin to speak a lil louder than normal around the workin chute when we brand with the electric iron. Would really be nice to have a power source out there, along with a water well, but that's not in the budget yet. This spring tho we plan to give freeze brandin a go. Mr. Lilly got a brand built, now we'll just hafta wait n see how it turns out. We'll just be branding the replacements with the freeze brandin method.
 

HAY MAKER

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the_jersey_lilly_2000 said:
I don't know what brand our generator is, but it's not all that noisy, cows don't mind it at all, does make for havin to speak a lil louder than normal around the workin chute when we brand with the electric iron. Would really be nice to have a power source out there, along with a water well, but that's not in the budget yet. This spring tho we plan to give freeze brandin a go. Mr. Lilly got a brand built, now we'll just hafta wait n see how it turns out. We'll just be branding the replacements with the freeze brandin method.

keep me posted on how your freeze branding goes Lilly,I know sw & Hanta does it with good luck,and I have been curious about it,always thought it may be a lil much tho,just to easy to plug in that
iron and pick it up when you are ready for the next one..............good luck
 

Faster horses

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I think freeze branding is plenty tricky, but I don't know that for a fact. Probably like anything you do, the more attention you pay, the better it is. We got some bulls once that had been freeze branded and I thought "how nice." But it didn't last. Pretty faded in about a year and then it was gone.

The person doing it must have got in too big a hurry and didn't do it well. Isn't it pretty time consuming?
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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I copied the freeze branding instructions that were posted here while back. I dont remember who posted em. It don't sound too hard, just more time consuming than regular branding, but all our replacements are black, won't that white brand stand out nice? I don't think I'd wanna tackle it if I was doin the whole herd. That'd be a huge job, but if we only do replacements, then eventually everthang will be freeze branded. (that is if it works like planned) Mr Lilly made mention that we could try it out on our freezer steer, see how it works before actually gettin down to business on the heifers.
 

Hanta Yo

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the_jersey_lilly_2000 said:
I don't know what brand our generator is, but it's not all that noisy, cows don't mind it at all, does make for havin to speak a lil louder than normal around the workin chute when we brand with the electric iron. Would really be nice to have a power source out there, along with a water well, but that's not in the budget yet. This spring tho we plan to give freeze brandin a go. Mr. Lilly got a brand built, now we'll just hafta wait n see how it turns out. We'll just be branding the replacements with the freeze brandin method.


Lilly,

I hope you got a brass brand, it holds the cold so much better, we've never freeze branded with anything else...

You need any help, we'll be glad to do so. We've been freeze branding since 1994, and freeze brands don't fade.
 

Faster horses

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Why did ours fade then, they were darn sure freeze branded.

Not being smart, I just would like to know. We were so happy that they were freeze branded at the beginning, sure helps keep track of them and then it was gone. So what happened? If they didn't fade, where did they go? Black Angus bulls and we were disappointed.
 

Hanta Yo

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Faster horses said:
Why did ours fade then, they were darn sure freeze branded.

Not being smart, I just would like to know. We were so happy that they were freeze branded at the beginning, sure helps keep track of them and then it was gone. So what happened? If they didn't fade, where did they go? Black Angus bulls and we were disappointed.


FH,

They weren't done right. We've had some that were freeze branded, but the white hair didn't grow back very well. The secret is to make sure the hair is shaved to the skin (surgical blades), the skin is clean, use fresh 99 % alcohol and dry ice, use brass branding irons and keep 'em cold. Also need to keep the brand on the skin for 1 min black, 1 min 15 sec on gray/red, bulls also take longer, we do them 1 min 15 sec-1 min 30 sec.

We've worked on getting freeze branding perfected, we still don't come out with 100% perfect. We're still working at it..... I'll have to find one of the heifers I took a pic of this fall when we freeze branded and post it. The white hair is slowly growing.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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Yeap it's brass, he done it at work with a piece of scrap brass they had. But if it works well I think we need two or more, that way one's always cold, i know it's not a fast process, or won't be for us, but I think we can do it. When you say shaved to the skin, if you use the clippers on em, then go to a closer clipper, like is used to do surgery on animals at the vets office.....(that's what I have) that should work wouldnt it?
here's a pic of it, he hasn't put a handle in it yet, but it has a hole that's threaded for a screw in handle on the back.....

2006-02-06-001-freeze-brand.jpg

here's a pic of it, think this'll work?
 

Denny

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We,my wifethe kids and I can do 40 head in an afternoon.We number brand all heifers first number is the year born.All registered cattle's number start's with a letter D.I have the vet dig thru and pick bang's tags that the 3rd to the last number starts with the year they were born then whatever it ends with we write them down.This way the ear tag number is the same as the freeze brand which is the same as the last 3 numbers of the bangs tag.
100_0050.jpg


000_0029.jpg
 

sw

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Lilly,
this thread has definitely strayed from soapweeds gadgets, but since we are here, I would probably remove the inside of the circle, with a back on it it may make the entire area freeze so you would end up with a round white circle, a blotch like you can get with a hot brand and figures too close together. Also, evaporation helps keep the irons cold so no back would let more evaporation occur. I think it was Denny on here that sprays more alcohol on the irons while branding and that helped too. We clip the hair with large clippers and then use the small surgical (40) blades. This is not a get her done job, it is a get the job done right the first time, patience. You would be well served to practice on other animals before you get too serious.
FH, I would bet that your bulls were freeze branded and when you got them the hair was not grown in yet, just a flaky hairless brand, that happens after you freeze them, before the hair grows in. Over time, the hair grew back but the brands were not done well enough to freeze the pigment producing follicles, so the hair grew back in black, so the pretty brand faded. A good brand gets better over time, poor ones never do grow enough white hair.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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What if there were holes cut in the back peice, so it's not solid, this one actually, don't know if you can tell from the pictures. the back is one solid piece and has set screws holdin the circle and p in place. there could be some holes cut into it between the screws if need be.

hehe when he said "practice on the freezer steer" the first vision that entered my head was this critter that looked like he'd been doodled on......surely it won't take but a few tries to see how it's gonna work.
 

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