Posts Tagged ‘working calves’

Most of our cows look like this:

Hello number 17.

And all of our bulls look like this:

“I’m a stud and I know it.”

So, needless to say, most of our calves look like this.

But every once in a while we end up with an odd colored calf. 

In 2009 we had Snowball.

As Ricky Ricardo always said,

“You got some ‘splaining to do, Lucy!”

Actually the big feed lot operation on the other side of the mountain from us runs Charolais bulls – big, white bulls.

Not even Earl, the horse knew what to think of this calf – even though he really did like the color.

Sorry, Snowball – just because you’re a little different that doesn’t mean we’re going to treat you different then the other calves.  After all, we wouldn’t want you to develop some debilitating complex where you feel singled out from the crowd and all alone.  And we really wouldn’t want you to think your special and get spoiled or anything like that.  I’m just saying – it could really ruin your life.  So it’s better if we treat you the same as everyone else.

In the chute you go. 

And look – we just happen to have a cowboy or two.

“Howdy, ma’am.  My name’s Morgan and I’ll be your Brander today.”

Snowball is laid out on our calf table.  The calf table is usually closed into a narrow alley way.  You run the calves into the little chute at the back of it and down the alley way to the three bars at the front.  With levers, you lower the bars around the side and neck of the calf, sucking the calf up to the wall.  Then you flip the wall and calf over onto its side – hence, the calf table.  It’s handy for branding, castrating, ear tagging and just general all-around working on calves.  And when your done you flip them back over onto their feet and release the bars on their side and they run out the front – back to mamma.  Sometimes we use the calf table instead of roping and dragging ’em.  It’s usually when we don’t have a lot of extra help running around. 

Snowball doesn’t look stressed at all – she’s thinking she’s going to spend the day at the spa.

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Sorry honey, this ain’t no spa.


A brand.  A shot.  All done.

Just be thankful you’re a heifer calf, Snowball.  You don’t even want to think about what we do to the bull calves.

Here’s a good look at our brand – even if it is upside down in this shot.  It really shows up on that white hide.

Just another day at the ranch.


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This is Maggie. 

Maggie is a good horse.  She is the kind of horse we call a ‘babysitter’.

And Maggie is worth her weight in gold.

We bought Maggie about 11 years ago for our youngest son, Morgan, when he was 8 years old.

Maggie has put up with a lot (to say the least).

Maggie more than paid for herself the first time we took her for a ride.  It was a beautiful evening as we trailed through the hills, following the valleys behind our house.  My baby had been on horseback before but had never had a horse of his own so we kept it slow and easy.   As we rode, we surprised a couple of bull elk who watched us for a moment before disappearing into the timber.  It had been a good summer and the grass was high and thick so when Maggie suddenly stopped in her tracks I wasn’t sure what the problem was.  Even though the small boy on her back kicked and cussed she stood perfectly still, refusing to move.  So I stepped off my horse and walked over to see what was wrong.  I was amazed to find that all 4 of her feet were tangled in a twisted piece of woven wire. 

Most horses would have shieded, some would have blown up but Maggie calmly stood there as I untangled her, letting me pick up her feet one at a time she waited patiently for me to pull the wire from the tall grass. 

As I lead her away I hugged her neck, scratched her ears and thanked her for taking care of my baby.  When we got back to the house Maggie got an extra ration of oats. 

It’s a rare gift to find a horse you can trust like that.

Maggie has always taken care of my babies.  She loves kids, women and oatmeal cookies but doesn’t really like to carry heavy men unless she has to.  She allows kids to crawl under her belly or slide off the back of her rump and will load herself into a horse trailer if you leave the door open, but don’t ever ride a horse too close behind her as she will sometimes kick. 

Here’s Maggie and her favorite kid all grown up.

Maggie likes to work calves.

She doesn’t mind when the rope hits her.

And she’s good at her job. 

She even looks pretty spiffy for her age.

She even goes to the mountains hunting.

Got elk?

You just got to love a good horse!

And we love this one – she’s our little Mag-pie.




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