First of all, Happy Easter!! I hope everyone is spending time with loved ones today and celebrating that He has risen!
Yesterday we branded up at the Second Flat. We were a little short handed since our usual cowhands (Ben’s friends) Manny and Michael and our foreman Pete couldn’t be there to help. But we got it done with some help from our family friends, Frankie and Munoz. My dad and Katy took off on the horses and brought up the cattle that were grazing in front of the houses then circled around to Delano Flat and The Orchard. Everything they found was brought to the Hospital Pasture and then pushed into the corral. The cows were sorted out with a few left behind to keep the calves calm, then the branding began.
During a branding we not only put our brand on the calves left hip but we also mark the ears, vaccinate, castrate the bulls and ear tag each calf. This helps identify the calves to us, the auction house and any cow burglars that might get any ideas. Everyone has a job and if your standing around you won’t be for long. Ben did most of the catching and flipping today. With Katy on the back legs and Ben up front my dad does the brand and castrates. I do the ears and whoever is up brings over the vaccination. My mom records each calf by number, sex, location and color markings. On the count of three the calf is released and baby runs back to mama.
At the end of the day everyone is sore but the job is done, the calves are back out hoppin’ around and the beer tastes real good.