The annual branding day at Lockhart Cattle Company took place last weekend and “The day was a success,” says Cody Lockhart, “the weather held, no one got bucked off, and we didn’t need to call the vet.” Besides a few short snow flurries, Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day for the Lockhart’s annual branding.
The day began on horseback when the cowboys round up the cows and calves from their pastures and bring them into the corral for sorting. A noisy but organized chaos follows the roundup as the babies are temporarily separated from their mothers to be branded and vaccinated.
The state of Wyoming requires every ranch in the state to brand and vaccinate cattle to keep the livestock system organized and to protect from diseases like Brucellosis. The Lockhart calves are branded with the family’s registered brand: a heart with an “L” inside of it. Lockhart Cattle Company brands their cattle in the traditional way on the right side with an extremely hot branding iron (about 400 degrees).
After a long day of herding, sorting, roping, and branding in the mud and smoke the event turns into a social gathering for friends and family.