Shooter and the Ball Boy

March 24, 2014

weekpicm2We got to help work Our Friend the Farmer’s cattle!  I knew Our Friend wanted us to come, as the day of ‘working cattle’ is a celebration of sorts.  In farm fashion there is a job that needs to be done, it takes a lot of people to get it done and there is food, beer and a bit of celebrating.  Celebrating the successful births of the herd.  80 calves to vaccinate and brand.  Last year we were invited to the celebration and I was delighted, but my job was watcher-don’t-get-hurt-stay-out-of-the-way-especially-from-the-branding-iron job.  I highly recommend staying far away from the branding iron at all times no matter what your job is.  However, this year I got to be a Shooter!

weekpicm8Tetanus was my job.  I might have been given tetanus, because if I accidentally shot a person it wouldn’t be all bad.  However, I was very careful and only got the bull calves….now steers, which leads me to My Loving Spouse’s job…  He was handed an empty bowl and assigned the duty of Ball Boy.  Our Friend the Farmer and he were a team, one took the balls off the bull calves and the other carried them around.

weekpicm5All 5 of Our Friend the Farmer’s grown kids were on hand to help work the cattle, with their kids in tow.  It was fun to watch the Dad’s teach and help the younger ones to not only throw the calves, but keep them down while the Shooters, Brander and the Ball team did their jobs, as all the calves want to do is to find and get returned to their Mama Cow.

Grand Daughters were not left out of the calf throwing…weekpicm4as were small ones wanting to help and learn…weekpicm9The littlest calf was 201 born just Thursday night.  She was saved to the end for the youngest Grand Daughter to have a turn learning to throw the calf.weekpicm7Like all celebrations, the most rewarding and tiring for the guy in charge.  A morning of family and friends helping to work the cattle, all calves successfully ‘worked’ and returned to their Mooing Mamas and plenty of food and beer served to the human helpers.  No accidents, no one was hurt or branded… a good day.


8 responses to “Shooter and the Ball Boy”

  1. Glenda says:

    Great Job! So what happened to Steinbeck did he make it or was he a winter cold casualty. Love reading your adventures.

    • Ellen says:

      No…sad face, Steinbeck did not make it… Our Friend the Farmer had 80 healthy calves and lost 3, that part of farming is the hard part. So glad you are with us on the adventure. I could certainly see you jumping into Shooter mode given the opportunity!

  2. Julia says:

    Ellen, your pictures were amazing!! So much better than mine. You captured some great moments. Next year I am going to have a job, too!! I used to be a shooter….then I had kiddos to watch. They are all just about big enough to be in there now, so next year I’ll be back in the pens!! It is always so great to see you and Pat. I am so glad you moved here :).

    ~Your neighbor Julie up the road:).

  3. Miriam says:

    Ellen, would you ever have thought you would be ‘working cattle’ before your move? Now you sound so country (in a good way) and know so much stuff about a farm. Love your blog. Although the info about balls I would file under TMI! 🙂

    • Ellen says:

      Not at all! Honestly, I told my kids, that if I didn’t get a job, I was going to walk home! So much fun…well, you might be a bit squeamish on the whole castrating part!

  4. Heather Flatley says:

    omg almost spit out my tea reading the “Ball Boy” description! You guys are wild and crazy up there!!

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