Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fire Branding!

Ready for branding
When rain comes to our village of Kazembe, it causes the grass to grow, flowers to bloom and critters to go hunting. But grass is what I am talking about today. It is what men all over the world need to to do in order to present his domicile a perfect picture. Cutting the grass! Only here the rainy season last for 6 months which means hiring a local to slash the grass from morning to night to reach all parts of our property. A method similar to the cycle that farmers use to cut the wheat down. We tried mechanical means but failed as garden equipment does not work here due to the low quality allowed to be sold in the shops. 
    But this year we are going to use biological warfare! No, not what you are thinking. We will be using animals! Yes animals that cut your grass even when you are sleeping. They love all that green stuff that grows as tall as 5 feet. So I placed a dozen rabbits and two goats in a secure area next to the road. But to secure our investment from thieves, we have to fire brand them. 

I had a welder fab up a branding iron that had the letters K.O. on it. Representing Kazembe Orphanage.

I made a fire with some coals and fanned the fire until the brander was red hot. But then I noticed that one of the letters started to bend due to the heat so I got a pair of pliers and bent them back to the right position. I would hate to brand an animal with a crooked letter. Ugh! I then got the goats and hog tied them until I was ready for them. 

Turmeric is what we use to clean and disinfect the burn after they are stamped. The branding went smoothly and was over before I knew it. I was surprised by the smoke it created for the few seconds I pushed on the hide.

You can see the turmeric ready to be thrown on the wound after a few seconds. The 2 goats are now the proud owners of K.O. Hopefully in the near future, we will get another dozen goats to fill this area.