Thursday, October 18, 2012

Branding and Banding

This past Saturday we worked our cattle and weaned the last group of calves, banded the bull calves and ended up having time to brand the cows.

We had a young man, Undray, that lives out in this area that wanted to come and help out.  He said that he was interested in farming.  What better way to see what it's all about that to visit a working farm?  In the photo below, Shane was banding a calf.  Undray, would get the bands ready and hand the bander to Shane after each calf was ready.  I was very impressed how well he caught on to working the gates and just his attitude in general of working the animals.

After sorting through the calves it came time for Shane to get to try branding.  We have always put ear tags in the cow's ears, but over time, some of them can lose them.  Shane knows each cow just by looking at them.  I personally am not that great at identifying them.  We could be out in the pasture and come up on one with their backside facing us and he could tell me exactly what number they were.  And sure enough, their ear tag number would be exactly as he called it.  

one of the electric branders
Now that we've been keeping replacements from our own herd, some of the heifers look just like their dams.  I mean sooo much like them that it can be confusing.  Shane decided on the branding because it is permanent and we will be able to identify them much easier.  He went with the electric brander from L & H Branding Irons.   Of course we do not have power way out in the back forty, so a generator had to be pulled out there.  

It only took a few seconds for the electric brander to work.  It produced some smoke and the smell wasn't so great, but the brand came out perfect.  Now we won't be having any cows losing their identity!


  1. Shane and Ashley,

    Banding and branding looked like a busy day! Looks like you have a good working chute. A tip we got from a fellow cattleman, is for the assistant to raise the animals tail over the animals back while branding or banding. This helps to further immobilize the animal and keeps them from attempting to lay down.
    Nic Girgenti
    Lagniappe Kikos
    Roseland, LA

    1. Hey Mr Nic, yes it was pretty busy but that's normal for our Saturdays. I will have to try your suggestion next time, I have a few more that I didn't brand.



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