Friday, October 8, 2010

Last Spring, Grandpa Bob  decided to start a small herd of Red Angus cattle.  Now that the cattle have grown, Grandpa announced last weekend that it was time to brand the herd.  If you are a passionate PETA participant, this is probably not your cup of tea.  If you are the People Eating Tasty Animals type, then read on!
Years ago, Bob created a special brand that can be recognized on the animals as being unique to the Husband Ranch.  
The branding process was a family event.  Everyone was involved in some way, and for our boys it was very exciting!  This is the "We don't know what we're doing, Mom, but we know it's going to be sooooo cooooool!" pic.
First, the cattle are guided into a corralled area within the pasture.  
Don't they look thrilled?
Then, the kids are corralled. (Hee, hee I think I like this plan!)
Actually, the kids, and dad walk slowly and speak softly, guiding the cattle into a small corral to then be led into the chute and administered medicine and the brand.  This scene reminds me of the movie City Slickers (ancient for some of you, but no, not black and white.) Two of the city characters are discussing the successful herding of the cows on horseback: Mitch: "Those cows trusted us!"  Ed:  "Trusted us?  They followed us because we yelled 'Yah!' They're cattle!" (Translation: Cows aren't the among the most intellegent of God's creation.)

This is the management squad.  They came along to ask a bazillion questions, ensure that the spectator seating is comfy and keep Henry out of the poop.

Eeeewwww, Henry!!  Hello, managment squad - poop alert!

Ok, back to the branding.....

Next, the cattle are herded into the chute one by one.  Once the cow/bull is in the chute, the gates have to be dropped, so that the beast is secure.

Ben and Ethan think this job is awesome.  It's the whole testosterone-filled,  man-power, I conquered the beast thing. 

"Dude, we totally rock at this job.  It's like capture the flag, only capture the cow!  Whoa!"
Now, you know what's up next.  Yep.  Fanny Fry.  Saddle sizzle. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Way to go, hon.  All for the greater good of the yummy steak dinner I'm going to make just for you next year.

The syrnge used to inject drugs into a 500 lb. animal is no tiny thing.  Thank goodness Steve and Jen know exactly what they're doing.  Right, guys?  Guys?  Management??....

Dad let's Andrew help give the medicine, applied under the skin in the neck of the cow.
Cousin Ethan jumps in to lend a hand with Henry.
All in a day's work... 

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