Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Hot Iron Branding
I have been remiss about posting lately. I have been partcipating in an age old tradition of hot iron branding calves. It is just as necessary now as it was 100 years ago. A form of identification, that is permanent. Very much unlike, ear tags, tatoos, and freeze irons, a hot iron brand is difficult to alter. The hot iron brand has been a source of much debate, lately. Many believe it is unnecessary but those people do not make their livlihood off of the livestock that can easily be stolen off of thousands of acres with few people. It is especially pertinent with cattle prices being high and the economy being in the dumps. Just last month I recieved an e-mail about several hundred head of calves being stolen off of private range. The take the young calves before they can be branded and sell them. In addition to the actually branding portion, young animals are given their vaccination and castrated, among other things. It is also a social event, teaching the young the traditions and a gathering after a long winter.