Sunday, February 27, 2011

I can't and Mutton Mondays intro.

Today was supposed to be a day of banding, but I couldn't do it. It's my first I can't on the ranch and I feel like I've let myself down.

What is banding? Banding is a method used to dock (remove the tail of a lamb) and castrate a lamb. A band like the one pictured below is placed on the tail to dock a sheep and just above the lambs scrotum to castrate.
Photo from

J looked at me for help after he caught the first lamb and my eyes filled with tears. I couldn't do it. I know it's only painful for a little while and I know it needs to be done to maintain the health of the lamb, but I just couldn't do it. Most people tend to think cute, little, helpless and fluffy when they think of lambs and well, that is what made it through what I thought was the thick skin of this rancher's wife.

This led me to thinking. There are a lot of things that ranching entails, things that the average person may not know about. While there are the ever so important Ag issues there are terms you may have never heard, practices you didn't know existed, products that may be useful to you, struggles of being in the ranching industry you may not know about and the list goes on and on.

I am learning so much and I want to share with you a little more about the ranching life, more than just my experiences, I want you to know and understand more about ranching therefore Mutton Mondays is introduced! I will post tidbits of ranch life information whether it be facts about sheep, the latest news in agriculture, information on our practices - like banding and so much more. I'm quite excited to get the word out about agriculture as it is a vital part of our society. work up the courage to get back out there and help J band some tails.

If you have specific questions or comments please feel free to contact me by clicking on the Contact Me tab at the top! I'm no ranching expert (yet), but I will do my very best to answer any questions you might have. 


Amy said...

In college I took a sheep production class. The instructor was so much fun and taught us so much. I have to wonder if he is still docking tails the same way. Banding seems so much nicer than the way we did it. And, we did have to do it for a grade. My husband does the banding on our calves, mostly because we wait til branding day and they are big and fiesty by then. Good luck!

omundsen said...

At least he didn't ask you to do it with your teeth!!! :-P

A Rancher's Wife said...

Amy - A sheep production class sounds like something I need to take!

Omundsen - That's for sure! The day J does that is the day I will question the man I married! :/ I'm excited for your blog to be up and running!!

crystal.cattle said...

I preferring band over knife castration. Seems to much less stressful on those little guys. You need to post some pictures of your lambs!