We are ready to up our game.
We spent time with some of the premier Texas Longhorn cattle breeders in the Northeast this past weekend, branding cattle, measuring horn lengths, and testing to see if a cow had been bred. More importantly, we watched, listened and learned from those that are more experienced around us.
We drove a couple hours south to meet our friends from Murdock Farm at Cote Cattle Company to assist with a day full of fresh air and cattle branding, and pick up our very own registered Texas Longhorn bull calf, Son of a Sinner. We'd been anticipating "Sinner" coming home for a number of months now, and we're so excited to call him ours. He's a beauty of a calf, and comes from great genes. We're excited to see his future offspring, and watch him grow into the majestic longhorn that he is.
The cattle that were being branded were being prepared for futurity sales that take place all across the country. In order to participate in these events, the cattle must be registered. In order to register, it is required that they are branded.
Cote Cattle Co. has improved upon their already stellar operation, increasing holing pens, and modifying the flow for the cattle to come into the chute, and exit into a grazing area to rest.
Cattle enter the chute to be branded, receive medication, get measured, or be tested to see if they have been bred - a chute is really useful for many things, and allows the ranchers to handle the cattle in a safe environment, where neither the rancher or the cattle can get hurt while necessary procedures take place.
There are various types of chutes, but only a handful are appropriate for working longhorn cattle. Typical chutes do not accommodate the long horns on a longhorn - so specific chutes must be used that have spaces for the horns to fit through. This is also an important safety measure.
The chutes are also capable of having a scale added to take cattle weights, which is useful to know as well.
When it comes to branding, there are also multiple types of brands. The cattle must feature the brand of the ranch, and also a serialized number. At Cote, they have electric and fire-heated brands, but freeze brands are also available on the market.
It's no secret that being branded doesn't feel "good" - but it is necessary for cattle identification and participation in show events. The ranchers make the process as quick as possible, with the least amount of stress, the brand spot is treated, and then the cattle are released to graze and be observed.
The process was absolutely professional, and everyone worked together to get the job done effectively. We were so proud to be included, and to be able to help.
Seeing all of their mature herds, we were once again reminded of how much we want to pursue a gorgeous herd of our own. Our next steps will be to seek out registered longhorn heifers to add to our breeding program, as we move out more of our beef cattle.
Beef will always be our primary function, but it doesn't hurt if they double as a beautiful sight on the ranch or at a show!
We ended the day with an awesome pig roast, and we shared Buckin' Beers with everyone!
More on Son of a Sinner to come!