A Cowgal's Story: Spring Works

Danny and Kate working on a bull calf. Danny is in the process of applying a rubber band to the testes for castration. Kate is helping to hold the calf still - this is the calf table Sheila mentions in the article. You can see the calf's head in the bottom right of the picture.

As we finish up spring works, time seems to almost fly by.

It seems not long ago we were helping pull calves and watching them take their first step.

And now our days are filled with gathering the last of the herds, sorting pairs, processing the mamas, and branding the calves. Different ranches do it different ways; some may rope and drag a calf to the ground crew. The ground crew each has a job to do: someone holds the rope, another does ear marks, and more workers castrate, give vaccinations, and brands. Those places are usually a little bigger and have large cowboy crews and maybe even neighbors who show up.

We, however, do it another way. We have a smaller crew, usually four hands (workers - ideally each ranch hand has two hands) total and we use a calf table. There is still a lot of work for the four of us to cover, same as that other crew may have. But because there are fewer of us and some who may not be experienced, the calf table is the best route for us to take.