This time of year, it's a race to get all of the calves branded when the sun is shining.
We can't brand calves when their hide is wet, because the heat from the branding iron transfers through the wet hair/hide. (Just like we don't curl our hair when it's wet - we don't brand calves when their hide is wet either.)
The ranch my husband works for had a branding scheduled for last Friday, and Wednesday & Thursday it poured all.day.long. Not that I'm complaining - we need the rain! They just needed to brand too, so they could get the calves vaccinated and help prevent sickness.
To save stress on the calves, they're "worked" when they go over the calf table. This means the calf is given vaccinations to keep them healthy, an ear tag if they didn't get one when they were born, a brand to identify them to the ranch they belong to, and if needed, the bull calves are castrated or banded. Also, while the calves are checked for sickness every day, if anything isn't feeling 100% that day, they're in an easy spot to treat them.
Luckily, the rain turned off on Friday & the branding continued.
Another group down, just a few more groups of calves to go!