Category Archives for // branding
May 6, 2015

Branding One

After a few late nights last week, Sunday afternoon mandated a nap. I had a 3 hour drive to the Chico later that day. Montana rode with me as we had to stop by the Medano and load some lodge poles for Amy at the McAuliffe. The rest of my family met us at the lodge and we loaded all our gear into big white.
The rain was steady as we pulled onto 150. The sign to

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February 9, 2015

Sticking Together

We have been meeting early in the mornings, when you can just barely see, gathering outside the saddle room rehashing the day about to begin. Everyone is going in different directions in the dark preparing syringes and vaccines, saddling horses, checking the fence around the weaner steers, feeding and seemingly a hundred more things in preparation for pregnancy testing almost 1,000 females. As it becomes light enough to see, three of us in the back of the pens on

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August 11, 2014

Ranch Roundup

This month on the ranches, we welcomed rain on the Chico, had our last branding, worked in the leather room, moved cattle with guests and of course, worked on the dirt bikes and trailers.

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June 9, 2014

Ranch Roundup

Bird banding, bison babies, lambing and more branding kept both the Zapata crew and the Chico crew busy this May.

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May 2, 2014

Heifer Checks

During calving season part of our daily routine is riding through the first calf heifers. These cattle are two year old females having their first calf, which means that they are very inexperienced and might not be completely ready to give birth. To counter this we put them in the pastures with the best feed and keep tabs on their progress. Twice a day someone rides among them looking for any animals that might be having a difficult delivery. I

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April 25, 2014

Branding and Goodbyes

We had our first branding of the season last week. It was great getting everyone together again for the annual work. Here, Stuart is preparing the coals of the leftover branding fire in order to heat up the beans and tortillas for lunch. It was also Stuart’s last branding at the Chico before he moves up to Montana. We sure will miss him- always great to be around in work and play.

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April 19, 2014

First Tag of the Year

I spent a little time this week getting caught up on tagging the calves of our Beefmaster heifers.  We do not tag our commercial calves, but with our seedstock herd we need to be able to keep track of individual animals in regards to parentage and general performance criteria.  Most of the Beefmaster calves will be tagged at branding, but with those belonging to the first calf heifers it is easy to get it done as they are born, since

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April 3, 2014


Branding is one of the first things that we do during the year, it marks the beginning of the season.