It's that time of year again, Branding season has arrived! There is definitely no shortage of brandings here in Montana come spring time. Most ranchers either use horses and drag calves to the fire or run them through a chute and table brand. Branding the calves help identify the who the calves belong to and each ranch/rancher has their own unique brand.
This last weekend we helped our friends out at the Ellis Cattle Co Ranch. They use horses and drag their calves to the fire. During this time each calf gets a hot brand, vaccinations and some sort of fly control for the summer. The calves get sorted off from their mothers and put into a catch pen. Someone will rope the calf by the hind two legs and drag them out of the catch pen where two wrestlers are waiting to grab them and hold them while they are getting their brand and shots.
After the calves get their brand, vaccinations, and fly control they get turned back in with their mamas and then get turned back out to pasture. It takes some good horses to be able to handle all of the commotion that is going on, especially when they drag the calves out of the catch pen to the wrestlers. They have to work their way around everyone holding calves that are already on the ground and everyone running back and forth who are giving shots and carrying hot irons. It's usually a lot of work but if there are enough ropers and wrestlers it goes pretty fast.
These flames have to be super hot in order to heat up the branding irons to make a good clean brand on each calf.
This little heifer calf is already been worked and ready to turn back out to her mother. I will be at a few more brandings for this ranch in the next few weeks. Be sure to follow me for more great pictures!