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It`s time to brand!
Spring is always a busy time of year, thus the drought in posts lately. We are getting towards the end of calving season which means: It’s time to brand! I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than a good ole branding. This year we will brand on May 3rd. We have always had an open invitation to our branding, and again this year, we welcome anyone who wants to help, or even just watch. If you would like join in on the fun, drop us a quick note so we can plan for lunch. When I was a kid, this was the social event of the spring season. All the neighbors would come to help. Then we would spend the rest of the spring helping all the neighbors. Our branding usually began by getting up before daybreak (like 3:30 am!), saddling your horse, and getting the cows in before the calves nursed in the morning. This was a critical time, because if you got there later, the calves wouldn’t follow their mommas. If this happened, then a fun and enjoyable “roundup” turned into a long and stressful morning. Dad was always reminding us, “Come on, we have to get out there before the calves suck.” Most of the time the “roundup” part went smoothly. Once the pairs (cows and calves) were corralled, we would head to the house for a big breakfast, which usually consisted of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and sausage. This was the important meal of the day, because you didn’t get lunch until after the calves were branded. Sometimes that would be late afternoon. Again, dad’s wisdom rings true, “Better eat now; who knows when you will get to eat again.” After breakfast, we began by sorting the cows from the calves. Then the fun began! The ropers would start dragging the calves in and the wrestling would start. The smell of burning hair would fill the air. I can smell it now! After a long day of branding, we would head back to the house to eat again and break out the adult beverages. The rule was no beer until the work was done. Well, most of the work. Lunch was a quick affair, then back to moving the cows to the pasture again. The rest of the day (what was left of the day) would be spent catching up with the neighbors after the long winter. Today, our branding still involves many of the same things: good friends, good food, and good times!

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