It’s a toss-up. Go to town for groceries… or help the guys process the heifers. There’s a storm coming in tonight, which means I won’t feel like driving the 47 miles to the grocery store… and the heifers will be too wet to age brand… so.
I decide to help the guys for *half* a day.
Vernon and Brandon head out to gather the heifers… Daniel and cousin B. take the side x side out to check water in the badlands. It’s still a wet sloppy mess from the snowstorm, they’ll return mud-splattered and packing dirt from the prairie all over the Rhino!
I get to the corral and start setting up.
Eartags are hung in order, since these yearling heifers have earned their replacement status, they will get new grownup “earrings” today.
The slicer for removing the old eartag is in place.
I dig through the branding irons and find the number 5. All eartag numbers start with 5 since they were born in 2015. This age brand will be on their left hip. If they lose their eartag, it’ll help us out on the prairie when we pair her up with her calf.
Branding means fire and I scrounge and scrounge and finally find enough wood, and my matches, and I get a tiny flame going. Finally, I find an axe and split enough wood to really kick out some heat. I figure by the time the irons are hot, the guys will be back and they’ll be SOOOOOOO happy everything is ready to go.
Oh, Oh! I’ve forgotten the tattoo-er. I ski through the mud down to Johnny’s house and begin to search for it. Vernon and Brandon show up and I run outside to help urge the heifers to the corral. “I can’t find the tattoo-er”, I tell Brandon. He goes to the house to look.
Nope. No luck.
Vernon goes to the house to look.
Nope. No luck.
Johnny’s gone and we’re at a loss. We can’t find that stupid thing anywhere.
The fire dies down, we pull the irons, and head to lunch. So much for helping the guys for half a day! I feed Vernon some leftovers, shower, and head to town. The rain begins.
They manage to do a few of them without me after lunch… Johnny found the tattoo-er… We will see how wet they are tomorrow!
(Can’t wait to use “555”… “Call me, sometime, boys, my number is 555…”)