Great balls of fire.

So the title of this post maaayyyy be a little misleading.

But fire is involved.

John England and his crew have been at the ranch/feedlot for the past week or so clipping sale bulls for Meadow Acres Angus, Thomas Angus and Rollin Rock Angus.  This weekend they were clipping in a pen behind our house so I went down and took some pictures of the Rollin Rock bulls getting groomed.

Our Daniels portable alley is multi-purpose, and was used to stage bulls for clipping.

Obviously I've been around show cattle being fit, but I haven't seen a mass production like what John and his crew do for sale bulls.  First, they bring in a partial pen (or whatever they think they'll be able to clip for the day) and give the bulls a shot of Acepromazine ("Ace").  This calms the bulls and makes them a lot easier to handle.  Once the Ace has had a chance to take effect, they run the bulls into their specially designed fitting chute and go to work.  They clip the bull's head, and down it's neck to it's brisket, clean up the tail and sheath and then use a torch to burn off the long hair across the bull's body. 

That's where the great balls of fire come in.  Lol.

They work quickly, and use their torches and a scotch comb to make sure the hair doesn't light on fire, but just singes off the dead ends.  This leaves a bull with a pretty even coat of newer hair, so they look fresh.  The bulls didn't bawl or really make too much commotion (I'm sure the Ace helps here too) and walked calmly out of the chute when they were done.

Rollin Rock 3137

Rollin Rock 3053
Rollin Rock had asked me to take a few pictures of two bulls for an ad, and so after the bulls in Pen 1 had been clipped I took them while they were still hanging out in the fitting pen.  Afterwards I told Clint I'd much rather take pictures of bulls after they'd been Aced - that is the way to go, ha!  You can get close, the bulls don't get fired up and I didn't really have to worry about having bulls behind me (trying to take me) since they were so calm. 

I may have had to edit out a few drool strings though.  But it was totally worth it. :)


  1. Torching sure makes short work of clipping cattle for a sale and it does a nice job. I only got in on torching once or twice.

    Looks like you had an efficient crew.


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