Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Experienced staff handles the branding in a safe and humane manner and the animal is not harmed in the process. Staff herd the calves into a holding chute and heat the branding irons in a small gas-fueled "fire box" until red hot. The branding iron is placed carefully on the calves’ hide and held level to the flank long enough until the mark is permanent. Cattle hides are extremely thick and the burn never reaches the point where the animal is in pain. The official state brand, a Texas star, is placed on the calves’ left rear flank and a three-digit registration number on its right rear.
After their initial surprise, the animals don’t take too much notice of the proceedings. Each calf is then vaccinated against various diseases. Information about the calf is recorded, and then it rejoins the group in the holding pen. With years of experience, the