Wednesday, May 18, 2011
An Evolving Tradition
So the kids, dogs, extra horses, and I hung out in our yard to watch the roundup festivities. We had work to do anyway, what with all the equipment that mysteriously got stuck in the mud while I wasn't looking.
The cattle did eventually get rounded up and sorted off and the branding began. (Note the oddball face in this crowd. Even cattle have fidelity issues: the neighboring hereford bull must have been visiting for a few days.) Manpower requirements were significantly reduced this year as a crowding tub had been installed and a branding table had been purchased. The crowding tub works well with the cattle psyche as the animals are constantly moving in a circular direction, allowing us to get them where they need to be safely and quietly.
The branding table also helps to reduce the stress. As far back as Danish Cowboy can remember, the calves were wrestled to the ground in small pens to get the tasks associated with branding accomplished. The branding table/miniature squeeze chute was a major change for us. While it took away from the traditional atmosphere of branding since a large crowd was not required to get the job done, it made life a little less stressful for everyone involved.