Sunday, May 13, 2012


We branded last Saturday.  Our branding is pretty low stress on everyone, people and cattle and calves.  We trail the cows and calves about a mile to the corrals and sort off the calves.

Here the calves have been sorted from their mothers and are going to another pen that will run them down the chute to the calf table.

Here is a calf awaiting his turn at branding and vaccinating.  We did one bunch in the morning and got another bunch in the afternoon.  We will still have another bunch that are calving now, which we will do in about three weeks.

Branding becomes a family affair.  The grand son is doing something with a sorting stick.  He is learning what goes on at a branding.
We brand to denote ownership of the livestock.  If it has our brand on it is legally ours.  When we sell or ownership changes a brand inspector looks at the critter and writes a bill of sale showing a change in ownership and the new owner will put their brand on.

On another note we are still critically dry.  We had an inch and half of rain a week ago, it helped green things up, but it is still very dry.  Some stories of people turning their cattle into summer pasture and the cows beating them back to the gate, wanting out.  There just isn't much new grass, only last years old grass.

The dams and dugouts are low on water.  we have to get a leak repaired in one of our pipelines so we can turn cows into the pastures up north.  We will rent a backhoe in Rapid City and dig up the line sometime this week.
Here is the guard dog "Attilla" out wading in the dam or mud hole that will water the sheep in a few days.  There is other water in this pasture and two water hydrants that we will have to set tanks to hold water.  Note the lack of green in the grass above the water.  Just old grass from last year.

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