Today Martina, my exchange student from Milano, Italy, and I went with my students of the Wildorado Cattle Company to work cattle on a ranch west of Amarillo. When I posted this on Facebook, a city friend asked what does working cattle mean. These were calves of various sizes, both male and female, all Angus.
First, a person on horseback heels a calf (ropes it by its hind feet) and drags it to the branding area. Then, depending on the size of the calf, a few persons flank it (hold it down) while a person gives it shots, e.g. vaccines, vitamins, another brands it with a hot iron, and someone else ear tags it. If it is a male, its testicles are cut off. Having raised cattle, this was not new to me. However, for a girl from Milano, it was the definitive Texas ranching experience.
I think we worked over a hundred calves during the morning which started at a chilly 47 with a strong West Texas wind. Later, in the afternoon it warmed up about 30 degrees. The wind just now finally quit; it is 8:54. Here are a couple of photos of the day’s activities.
Three people from the National Angus Association headquartered in St. Joesph, Missouri, were there making a documentary. Although currently I live in the country in the Panhandle of Texas, I grew up on a farm about 30 miles from St. Joesph. Small world.