Kirk Branding Day 2012

by Amy on May 10, 2012

Last Saturday we had a great day to have our branding.

My son lives for brandings every weekend and usually gets a buddy or two to come down to help at ours.

We got a heavy rain about 4 a.m. prior so the branding corral was pretty muddy but the calf wrestlers didn’t seem to mind.

This is what I have to deal with when I wash clothes for the whole month of May:

 

There are different ways to catch calves for branding and it just depends on the outfit. Some use a calf table, some rely on ropers to catch a calf and drag it out of a pen for calf wrestlers to take over, and some like us, have calf wrestling teams that wrestle a small bunch of calves at a time inside a branding corral.

 

Around Pringle, most outfits brand similarly to the way we do or use a calf table, but not far from us at neighboring ranches that we help brand, they rope and drag the calves. Sometimes we’ll take horses sometimes we’ll just help wrestle calves. At ours, we use horses mainly to gather the herd and bring them into the corrals to sort the calves from the cows and to drive them back out to the pasture where they were at.

 

I do as much kitchen prep work ahead that I can, so I can spend some time up at the branding corral but I didn’t get outside in time to take pictures of our cows being brought in. I didn’t take any pictures of the branding meal either. By the time I’d spent 14 hours in the kitchen cooking, baking, and preparing food the day before, I was sick of looking at food but it was well received.

No matter which way a calf is caught, the important thing is to hold onto them once they’re on the ground so they don’t hurt themselves or other people while getting their vaccines and brand.

It’s literally a matter of seconds before they get everything they need and are then released into a separate area and another small bunch is brought in. With a lot of help, it goes pretty fast and the calves are back with their mother again.

With boys, there’s always a little rough housing in between getting the work done and lots of BSing.

Everyone that comes to help has a great time.

At 4 a.m. when my husband and I were both awake listening to the downpour of rain, we were discussing how we were looking forward to the day being done. We both usually stress over details the whole time until it’s all over with, but by 3 p.m. we were both amazed how fast the day went by.

The past couple of years we had miserably high winds, cold, and even snowflakes in the air. This year we were blessed with great weather, good help, and as always, good times.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Erika Kotite May 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

Love your photos–they started me reminiscing about Branding Day 2010. Brrrr. Miles sure looks grown up!

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