Cote Cattle Company hosted their Spring cattle branding event, and we were invited to join in the fun by our friends at Murdock Farms! We purchased our longhorn steer, Bentley (Dirigo's Dream) from them a little while back.
Both Cote Cattle and Murdock Farms are in the business of raising longhorns on the east coast! We met up with them, and other ranchers to help brand the cattle, watch pregnancy checks, and do some cattle exchanges!
The experience was so worthwhile and totally gave us some helpful insight, and ideas for improvement for our own ranch. We learned a lot about the longhorn breed, top bulls, horn characteristics, and color variations. Talked about genetics, herd management, and cattle behavior. We loved having the opportunity to discuss our passions with other ranchers that are knowledgeable, and we really look up to them. Ranches of various sizes, from Massachusetts to New York drove over to see stock and help in the branding process.
Branding can be a touchy subject for those not familiar with the process - while it is not necessarily an enjoyable experience for the cattle, the ranchers try to make this process quick and efficient to minimize the amount of time any of the cows are in the chute. Branding not only allows ranchers and farmers to differentiate their animals from their neighbors, but it can also identify each individual animal for record-keeping purposes. Branding is also a legally required form of permanent identification in some states. Where branding is not as common, farmers and ranchers use other forms of animal identification, such as ear tags. In a matter of seconds, the procedure is complete, similar to the human experience of getting necessary shots at the doctor's office and the calf returns to its pasture or mother, and is back to eating hay, calmly walking along, and relaxing with its herd.
We were so excited to have the opportunity to network with these folks and look forward to future cattle investments with them. Most of them are headed to longhorn cattle shows throughout this coming spring and summer from Virginia, to Kentucky and all the way to Texas. We'll be likely watching from afar for now, but we're looking forward to picking up a couple of replacement stock later this spring from them, as we move out our first finished beef cows.
When we got our feet back underneath us on Sunday, we made sure to spend some extra time with our herd, worked on new plans for chute flow here, and as luck would have it, scored a set of new-to-us cattle/horse panels that are going to help us create the next phase of infrastructure for the ranch! We're psyched to get to work!