Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hot Irons and Cheerios

So I went out to the feed lot to get some pics for my blog. I've watched the guys brand cows before, but it's been about 5 years. Back when I was only dating my husband. So ya know, I wanted to be cool and come outside and be part of the experience. Ever since then, I've been married and have stayed inside to take care of the kids and chat with the sister-in-laws. At least the ones that didn't want to go out and brand.

Anyway, I slightly remembered the process.

First they have to separate the mama and baby cows. I wish I would have gotten a video of that, but they were just finishing up as I got there. There's a lot of yelling, poking, hitting, hissing, running, arms flapping, sticks flying - it's great to watch. In fact, my little five year old nephew told me this morning."You know what my favorite thing to do on the farm is? Chasing cows. I get to do it again today!" Yep, it's a family affair and all the little kids are invited too.

Anyway, once they separate the baby cows...

from the mama cows...
IMG_5235 gets very noisy. Neither side is very happy about the separation. I completely understand. No mama likes to be separated from her baby! Especially if it's nursing time! And no mama likes to see her baby have to get their first shots. That's no fun either. Here's a little sample of how it sounds up here right now, and how the mama cows try and get as close as they can to the babies. Here are some mad mama cows!

So after they are separated, on nephew chases them up this little chute...(okay I don't really know the vocabulary here, so I'm giving you the city-girl interpretation).

Then the other guys squeeze the calf into some other thing, that I don't know what to call. See his little bum?

And his little head?

Then another nephew gives him his first shot.

Then I heard someone said, "Heffer or bull?"

So I turned to a brother in law and asked him if they were castrating today. He said, "Nah, just cheerio-ing... Do you know what that is?

Oh yeah. I think I remembered. I said, "It's like that elastic band they put on them which eventually causes it to fall off?"


And then I remembered what happened to all the placentas that drop around here (nothing)... and so I asked, "So...they just drop whenever, wherever....all over the place."


I will leave it at that. No lie.

I apologize to you city folk, but I'm just telling it as it really is!"

Moving on, please. Oh, but first, a picture. After this conversation, my other brother in law came over to show me a "cheerio." They are very supportive of my blog. Thanks.

And my husband performed the next procedure.


Okay, so now we are really moving on. To the actual branding part. The nephew gets the iron in place...

And then...

Let me tell you, it stunk. I had to move after I took that shot!

All done calf! Now go find your mama! They let them loose and out the run. I followed one to take his picture and I got this face. This is what he thinks of us now.

Then I left. When my cowboy got home that night he said, "Honey, you missed the most eventful part. Some of them were too big so we just had to cut them off."

End of story.


  1. Great pics! I especially like the last one of the calf sticking his tongue out. Perfect shot! Poor little guy...he looks grumpy and he has good reasons to be!

  2. That last shot was my favorite too. Hahaha