Last Thursday we had our first of two brandings and the bigger of the two. J, J’s Dad and I pecked away at setting up and gathering supplies. J’s Mom and I pecked away at preparing a meal for our cattle working crew. Tuesday afternoon Uncle Doug arrived!
The crew was here and headed out to gather cattle at 6 o’clock am. We worked the first group, took them back to their pasture and stopped for “lunch.” Traditional lunch at our ranch is ham sandwiches. J’s Mom baked caramel rolls. I also had an array of Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookies and No-bake Cookies.
After “lunch” we headed out to gather the second group of calves. We stopped for a water break at noon, finished working calves and got that group back to their pasture. We ate dinner just ahead of 2 o’clock pm.
We did a good ole American Grill Out for dinner. Burgers, Johnsonville brats, Coleslaw (cabbage with store-bought dressing), Strawberry Pretzel Fluff Salad, Oreo Salad, Pina Colada Fluff Salad and Vegetable tray. For dessert, Chocolate Oat Squares and 7 Layer Bars. J’s Mom brought over Potato Salad, Baked Beans (homemade) and Classic Deviled Eggs.
No one left the table hungry!
After cleaning up branding stuff and putting supplies away J, Uncle Doug and I slipped over to the neighbor’s. I rode along as I knew they were lambing and I could get some pictures of sheep.
When we got home J rode out and checked cattle. The branded babies found their Mother’s and all was calm. It’s nice when the cattle pair back up and there is little drama to the calves finding their Mom again.
After big working day like this we sleep so well! Mostly because the stress of a big day is behind us. Working calves is one of the most important tasks we do to keep our cattle healthy (vaccination shots), identified (branded) and managed for our marketing program (castrating the bulls).
J and I are very lucky to have a great cattle working crew. J’s folks still play an active role with cattle work and we are glad to have them help. Cousin T, Roy, Uncle Doug and Jamie (a neighbor) round out our crew.
I’m posting this Sunday night as we are headed out early in the morn to brand at Cousin T’s.
Have you branded calves yet? Do you use a calf cradle or rope and drag with horses? What is your favorite branding meal or food?