Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spring Branding time

Wow, not a good month for blog posts. A measly 11 posts for the whole month of April. Here we are already 4 days into May and I am just now posting for the first time. This month things will be a bit different. Some days all that will be here is a picture for the day, a real environmentalist species and maybe a quick note. Those days that I have more time and feel more inspired I will try and do better. Thanks for all the comments both good (from men) and negative (from women) on the Goin postal blog post.

Friday the 30th was gathering day, I was more worried about bringing the main group of cows off the hill to the corrals than gathering the home pasture group. The cows on the triticale circle had little reason to leave with all the green feed and one of the first things they encounter is a bridge. Usually if one cow will start across the rest will follow. We left one cow behind that had just calved (one of 3 late calvers) but the rest followed the pickup and hay out onto the road, across the bridge and to the corrals without incidence.

The gathering of the home place cows and yearling heifers was a bit more of a challenge. We did however avert a major train wreck when a gate popped open and the cows we had moved down the road almost escaped into the home place pasture. By late afternoon Scott and my brother in law Andy and I had everything caught and all the equipment set up for Saturdays working and branding.

Saturday mornings sorting went well and when the crew arrived we were ready to go. On one end of the working barn was a crew giving two vaccinations, one internal and external parasite shot and one nasal mist vaccination. The calves also were branded and the bull calves were castrated. Thanks to all who helped at that end make the day successful and fun.

At the other end of the barn we vaccinated and gave injectable internal and external parasite shots to the cows and yearling heifers. Things went smoothly for the most part on that end of the barn too. We once again averted disaster when one of the kids noticed a cow out by the hay barn. On closer inspection about 50 cows were out of the corral and hiding behind the hay barn. Luckily they were still enclosed by 4 string barb wire and the whole crew did a great job of helping get them back in.

With so many friends and relatives to help it really made the day enjoyable. Everyone pitches in and I cannot thank everyone enough. Spring branding day is a huge job and a huge relief to have finished. There are so many different things that people do to make the day a success. Gathering, sorting, bringing up cows and calves, running the chutes, branding, vaccinating, filling syringes, castrating, running gates, food prep, barbequing, watching kids the list is virtually endless. Not only is it a great family event it also has a long history in our family. Thanks again to all the adults who helped in so many ways.

One of the main reasons I like it as a family event is the kids. Granted most of these kids will end up far away from a farm or ranch life as an adult. My hope is that at least they will have knowledge and respect for those who work to feed America and fondly remember the first or second Saturday in May as they grow up. A few adults and kids were unable to attend because of previous commitments and I want you to know you were not forgotten and we all will be glad to see you at the next branding. We had a whole group of fourth generation kids with us Saturday and I am going to name them all just because it is my blog and I can.

Amanda,Dakota,Alex,Brandon,Sallirose,Jake,Ty,Trey,Jack,Max,Estella,Brooks,Gates,Gus,Sophia,Donuelson,Julia,Kyra and Shelby. Samantha, Chase, Josephine and Jake D had other places to be but were with us just the same. Your Grandpa and uncle Larry was watching you all and I am sure he was very proud to see all you young cowboys and cowgirls helping.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is Triticale (wheat x Rye hybrid) aka Triticum Secale.

Today’s picture is Estella getting some rabbit ears courtesy of her cousins Trey (in blue) Ty (in black) with cousin Alex with her back to the camera.