Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Across the table.

I haven't had a chance to help brand at all this year at the ranch until last weekend.  I actually thought they were all done, but then on Friday morning Clint said they were going to brand the last of Jack's youngest calves so I got to help.

At Double M the guys brand across a table.  We love to go to brandings where they rope and drag to a fire, but for the ranch - using a table just works for them.  With their crew of four or five guys they can brand a set of calves each day (roughly 100 head) after the cows are fed and depending on weather can usually be done with all of the groups in about two weeks time. 
 




When they brand, depending on who's all there, there's a pusher, a leg holder, a brander, a Ralgro-giver/door holder and a shot giver/recorder.
Since we had extra people (6 on Friday) Trevor pushed calves, Ty held the legs, RJ branded and ran the table, Jack gave the Ralgro and ran the chute door, Clint gave shots and I wrote down the numbers.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Said the girl who had the easy job.  ;) 

Trevor & Ty being the {young bucks} got the not-so-fun-but-still-very-important jobs.
 
 


You can't see them, but Trevor's wearing chaps....the guys figure they soften the blow of a calf kicking at you....at least a little.  ;)
 

 
The dogs are usually there too.  
 
They think they're pretty good help....especially when they're laying under the pickup in the shade. 
 
:)
 
I've talked about the TECO calf table the ranch uses before - and it's old; so old that the TECO company isn't in business anymore - but the guys think it's still the best table out there.  Calf tables either are really good at pinching you - or they're heavy and awkward (ie. dangerous) to flip over and the TECO chutes aren't really either of those.  So while we're all for modern efficiencies it's one of those things where we say "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."  
 
The guys just weld on the original one when it needs repair and then Clint's picked up two more on Craiglist.  Now instead of having to load the chute on the back of a flatbed pickup (which isn't too hard) and move it to wherever they're going to brand that day, they just have a table at Mike's pens, Jack's pens and one on the north side of the freeway (they brand Clint's calves in two different locations so the calves don't have to cross the road).


And so went another great day in the {branding pen} at Double M, running calves across the table.

1 comment:

  1. We us a calf cradle too. J can remember the "good ole days" of roping and dragging. His first job was assistant to Uncle Marshal, the bull cutter. J's Mom talks about all the people it took to brand and how the neighbors spent time helping each other. It took 30 or more people and the guys were gone to brandings for a few weeks in the spring.

    My Mom and Dad have used a calf cradle for as long as I can remember. I'd go as far to say they have never roped and dragged at branding.

    There are still a fair amount of ranches that still rope and drag around here.

    Calving and branding behind you at the Double M, yea! Good Luck as you continue to AI.

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