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First branding of the season, April 4, 2012

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Soapweed

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Gettingcattleintobrandcalves800x600.jpg

Getting cattle in to brand calves
Onthemove800x600-1.jpg

On the move to the corral
Settingupshop800x600.jpg

The cows have been sorted away from the calves, and we are setting up shop.
Arrangingtheequipment800x600.jpg

Arranging the equipment
Peachgettingvaccinegunsready800x600.jpg

Peach getting the vaccine guns ready
KosmoKidandhissisterSunflower600x800.jpg

Kosmo Kid and his sister. Kosmo and I take turns roping and castrating. Peach does the vaccinating, Sunflower puts each brand on straight
and just the same, and my sister loads the wheels and coils ropes. We did 180 calves in about six hours. There are probably faster ways of
doing this with a small crew, but this works for us. We can pick nice days to do the job, and Kosmo and I both get lots of roping practice. :)
Mysisterreadytoloadthewheel800x600.jpg

My sister ready to load the wheels
Thefirst27sortedoffandready800x600.jpg

The first 27 sorted off and read to go. The vaccine guns hold 27 doses, so we do 27 at a time. These are turned in with their mothers
and then we get 27 more each time until we are done. The ropers switch with each draft.
Therestofthecalveswaitingtheirturn800x600.jpg

The rest of the calves waiting their turn
Ourplaygroundfortheafternoon800x600.jpg

Our playground for the afternoon
Alwaysatleastonetoflubupthecolorscheme800x600.jpg

Always at least one to flub up the color scheme. :wink:
KosmoKidheadinintorope800x600.jpg

Kosmo Kid heading in to rope
Everyoneworkingbutme800x600.jpg

Everyone working but me :roll: :? :wink:
Upandover800x600.jpg

Up and over
Showshowthecalfisheldcaptive800x600.jpg

Shows how the calf is held
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Calf trap wheel in use
Thirstylady800x600.jpg

Thirsty lady
Traywiththegoodies800x600.jpg

Tray with the goodies
ThebasesareloadedandImuptobat800x600.jpg

The bases are loaded and I am up to bat.
BirdseyeviewfromGoose800x600.jpg

Bird's eye view from on top of a Goose
Thefatguybringingonein800x600.jpg

The fat guy bringing one in
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Loading the calf trap
Crewatwork800x600.jpg

Crew at work
Afteranotherone800x600.jpg

After another one
 

Soapweed

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Big Muddy rancher said:
Pretty handy crew, Must have been a nice day. The branding smoke looked to be going straight up and no pictures of anybody chasing a straw hat. :D :D

It was a beautiful day, with a temperature in the low sixties and just a little bit of wind. Our country is dry enough that there was just a tad bit of dust involved, even though the branding took place on "grass" instead of in the sandy corrals. Jackets went on and off, depending if the sun went behind a cloud or not. You are right, no one had to chase any straw hats. :) The top hand of the crew showed up in the cool of the morning wearing his usual stocking cap. He was disappointed to realize he had no hat in our house to wear the rest of the day. :roll: :wink:
 

WyomingRancher

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Looks like just the right amount of people to me :wink: :D. Your calves look great, even the red one! I've got a little more color in this calf crop as well, but as long as they still have a pulse, I'm not complaining :p . Good luck with the rest of your spring branding, we sure have great weather to get it done in. I plan on branding Saturday.
 

Wyoming Wind

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Looked like a great day...your calf trap wheel i've never seen before, very very handy! Gonna have to pass that idea on to some friends around here. Is that a pretty common set up around your area? Love seeing branding pictures, everyone does it a little different. Looks like a very efficient set up! A bunch of guys around here use these norfork set ups, not real handy or safe for the calves and it requires amazing patient horses to hold and stretch calves for a ridiculous amount of time. We do not brand that way needless to say! And i'd say you guys getting that many calves done in that amount of time is great!
 

LazyWP

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Wyoming Wind said:
Looked like a great day...your calf trap wheel i've never seen before, very very handy! Gonna have to pass that idea on to some friends around here. Is that a pretty common set up around your area? Love seeing branding pictures, everyone does it a little different. Looks like a very efficient set up! A bunch of guys around here use these norfork set ups, not real handy or safe for the calves and it requires amazing patient horses to hold and stretch calves for a ridiculous amount of time. We do not brand that way needless to say! And i'd say you guys getting that many calves done in that amount of time is great!

I will make this comment for Soap. No those traps aren't common in our area. I think Soap, and Saddle Tramp's father invented it. They are quite handy, but my horse didn't like being "sandwiched" in between the rope and the pickup. He was fine on the side where the pickup and rope were on the same side.
The Spearhead has a distinct advantage, if they ever invite any outside help into their branding. They use all of their own ropes, and some of them didn't work so well for me. :oops:
 

North Ridge Ranching

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It always looks like work but I hope you enjoy these type of days as much as I do. I find it hard to beat a good day of sorting and processing cattle. Especially when the weather is good. You really feel like you accomplished something when the day is done.

Nothing like a fine malt beverage to wash the dust out after, and I mean after a good day working cattle. I know of a few people that start the beverages a little to early and make things more interesting than they need to be late in an afternoon.
 

Hayguy

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look's like a great start to another year, your picture's and story make it all look too easy :lol: first time iv'e seen the dark colored ford bale truck in a pic usually it's the white dodge. a new aquisition or has it just been camera shy :lol:
 

littlejoe

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LazyWP said:
Wyoming Wind said:
Looked like a great day...your calf trap wheel i've never seen before, very very handy! Gonna have to pass that idea on to some friends around here. Is that a pretty common set up around your area? Love seeing branding pictures, everyone does it a little different. Looks like a very efficient set up! A bunch of guys around here use these norfork set ups, not real handy or safe for the calves and it requires amazing patient horses to hold and stretch calves for a ridiculous amount of time. We do not brand that way needless to say! And i'd say you guys getting that many calves done in that amount of time is great!

I will make this comment for Soap. No those traps aren't common in our area. I think Soap, and Saddle Tramp's father invented it. They are quite handy, but my horse didn't like being "sandwiched" in between the rope and the pickup. He was fine on the side where the pickup and rope were on the same side.
The Spearhead has a distinct advantage, if they ever invite any outside help into their branding. They use all of their own ropes, and some of them didn't work so well for me. :oops:

Seems like every time I help a neighbor and want to rope a few, they all give me a rope with a buncha misses in it--cowboy humour, I guess.

What shots, Soap? We do 8-way and ralgro and call it good. Efficient looking, as alway.
 

gcreekrch

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'Nother week and you'll be done Soap! :D

It looks dryer there than haying time here. That's not so good, hope you get some moisture soon. Sounds like a lot of country is in the same boat.
 

R A

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Top notch crew and pictures, Soapweed! I know you posting pictures of your brandings sure made mine better(stealing ideas)! I appreciate it!
 

Soapweed

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WyomingRancher said:
Looks like just the right amount of people to me :wink: :D. Your calves look great, even the red one! I've got a little more color in this calf crop as well, but as long as they still have a pulse, I'm not complaining :p . Good luck with the rest of your spring branding, we sure have great weather to get it done in. I plan on branding Saturday.

Thanks, Wyoming Rancher. I like having a small crew, and the flexibility that goes with it. If the weather doesn't cooperate, it is easy to change plans.

Wyoming Wind said:
Looked like a great day...your calf trap wheel i've never seen before, very very handy! Gonna have to pass that idea on to some friends around here. Is that a pretty common set up around your area? Love seeing branding pictures, everyone does it a little different. Looks like a very efficient set up! A bunch of guys around here use these norfork set ups, not real handy or safe for the calves and it requires amazing patient horses to hold and stretch calves for a ridiculous amount of time. We do not brand that way needless to say! And i'd say you guys getting that many calves done in that amount of time is great!

This is our own little wrinkle in the world of branding, and it hasn't caught on very well. :) It does work good for us. The concept came about with a brainstorming session. I had mentioned that an old neighbor, when being shorthanded on branding help, would use a tree crotch set in the ground. The roper would catch a calf by both hind feet, and then drag the rope up over the tree crotch. The horse would have to hold the weight of the calf, but no "wrasslers" were needed. The problem was that it was hard on ropes, the horse didn't like it, and the roper was "held captive" until the ground work was done on the calf.

I was visiting with Saddletramp's dad, who was visiting from Iowa. He suggested using a pulley wheel to make the process easier on ropes. My response was that it would do that, but also with less "resistance," the calf would seem even "heavier" to the horse holding the rope. That is when the idea "clicked" to secure the rope. Besides making it easier on the horse, it would also free the roper to go get another calf while the ground crew worked on the first one.

Our first prototype was on a fence post set in the ground. Then the idea came to mount the calf trap wheels on Hydra-Bed arms, which works even better. Our last "big banding" with the help of neighbors was held in 2004. Since then we have used the wheels and a small crew.

LazyWP said:
I will make this comment for Soap. No those traps aren't common in our area. I think Soap, and Saddle Tramp's father invented it. They are quite handy, but my horse didn't like being "sandwiched" in between the rope and the pickup. He was fine on the side where the pickup and rope were on the same side.
The Spearhead has a distinct advantage, if they ever invite any outside help into their branding. They use all of their own ropes, and some of them didn't work so well for me. :oops:

Even being familiar with our own ropes, sometimes they don't work very well for us, either. :wink: On the "off side" of the pickup, our horses usually turn around and pull the calf by backing up. They remind me of the old hay stacking team; they know just how far to go, and then they stop on their own.

North Ridge Ranching said:
It always looks like work but I hope you enjoy these type of days as much as I do. I find it hard to beat a good day of sorting and processing cattle. Especially when the weather is good. You really feel like you accomplished something when the day is done.

Nothing like a fine malt beverage to wash the dust out after, and I mean after a good day working cattle. I know of a few people that start the beverages a little to early and make things more interesting than they need to be late in an afternoon.

Our brandings were always rather on the boring side for the neighbors, since they were "dry." We had available all the soda pop anyone could drink, besides iced tea and lemonade, but that was about it. When I was a little kid, my dad told me, "You'll never become an alcoholic if you never take the first drink." Watching him attain 89 years of successful and happy living without booze has been a good example for me. My sons like the "good stuff," and that is fine with me, but I've always been a boring old tee-totaller. :roll: :)

hayguy said:
look's like a great start to another year, your picture's and story make it all look too easy :lol: first time iv'e seen the dark colored ford bale truck in a pic usually it's the white dodge. a new aquisition or has it just been camera shy :lol:

The blue F350 Ford with Hydra-bed came up for sale on a local radio station. I ended up buying it, which was fortunate as one of our other pickups was out of commission for a couple months.

littlejoe said:
Seems like every time I help a neighbor and want to rope a few, they all give me a rope with a buncha misses in it--cowboy humour, I guess.

What shots, Soap? We do 8-way and ralgro and call it good. Efficient looking, as alway.

Littlejoe, our calves get Vision 7 blackleg, Once PMH, Enforce 3 internasally, Synovex-C (both steers and heifers), a brand, and castrate the bulls.

gcreekrch said:
'Nother week and you'll be done Soap! :D

It looks dryer there than haying time here. That's not so good, hope you get some moisture soon. Sounds like a lot of country is in the same boat.

We got a tenth of an inch of very welcome sprinkles last evening. The air smells fresh, and the dust got settled. I hope that big full moon didn't dry things out again overnight. :)

ANGUS327 said:
Where are the half drunk city slickers with their new cowboy hats??

Another advantage of our system. :wink: :)

R A said:
Top notch crew and pictures, Soapweed! I know you posting pictures of your brandings sure made mine better(stealing ideas)! I appreciate it!

Thanks, R A. Your fine cowboy photography always inspires me. It's about time you put up some more. :)

4Diamond said:
hayguy said:
first time iv'e seen the dark colored ford bale truck in a pic
I like it!

It seems to be a nice pickup, complete with 240,000 miles on the 7.3 diesel engine. The previous owner took good care of it.
 

4Diamond

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We have a 95 with well over 300,000 miles. I am in the process of buying an old dodge gas burner with a hydra and would love to find a obs powerstroke to put it on.
 

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