When I came over, I saw him fiddling with the propane tank. After a little more messing around, he determined that the regulator (I think that is what he said) was broken. That being the case, we couldn't heat the irons, so we were unable to brand the heifers.
So we decided to just go ahead and ear mark them and nevermind the branding--this time around at anyrate. I had the job of running the girls down the chute; I managed the tail-gate on the first one, but after that Daddy worked both tail gate and head-catch. I still got the squeeze job.
To describe the operation a little better, I first went into the hopper pen and parted one of the heifers out (I got two by accident once and that caused some minor problems). Next I followed her down the chute until I got to what Daddy calls the "waist gate". I'd slide through there (having to open and close it), and then hurry up to the squeeze chute. Daddy would already have the tail gate down and I'd prod the girls in the rump with my hot-shot and as soon as they got their heads through the head-catch Daddy would slam it and I'd squeeze them down. On a two of them, I had to kind of swing underneath the handle because of the size of the girls and how heartily they were kicking.
Daddy would then mark the ears and then we'd do a reverse of the process, followed by the opening of the front gate of the chute and away they went--first Big Red, then Whitey, then Blondie (she was the hardest to get), and finally August.
And that's how come it's only half a success...and I think I'd better mosey into the kitchen and seriously think about supper. I know I'm not the only one who's hungry.