Film, Video Sorting the Herd

About this Item

Sorting the Herd
Contributor Names
Fleischhauer, Carl (Interviewer)
Smock, William (Interviewer)
Created / Published
October 10, 1979
Subject Headings
-  Cattle
-  Ninety-Six Ranch
-  Activities
-  Buckarooing
-  Cattle sorting
-  Ethnography
-  Motion Pictures
Motion Pictures
-  After the herd is back at the home ranch, cattle are sorted for sale, breeding, and other purposes.
-  One of the main purposes for sorting the herd is to "part," or segregate, the cattle (primarily steers) to be sold. Les explains the ranch's overall marketing concept in audio selection <023>. The Ninety-Six normally sells cattle in autumn, but in 1979, when this film was shot, no animals were sold. After Les's uncle's death in 1936, two branches of the family jointly owned the ranch. In 1979, Les bought his cousins' shares and consolidated ownership. Taxation factors connected with this consolidation ruled out a sale that fall, but the cattle were sorted for future sale, breeding, and to keep mother cows together with their calves.
-  The sorting process begins when the herd passes through the ketch lot as the cattle reenter the ranch at the end of the drive, as in video selection <036>. The parting shown here is a separate event that takes place a few days after the drive; the 1979 parting processed about seven or eight hundred head. The ranch's normal categories are: cows with calves, dry cows (cows not mothering a calf), heifers to replace herd cows, yearlings, weaner calves, steers, strays, and a few bulls for breeding purposes. Sometimes two or three of these categories will be sorted into a single group. Strays are branded cattle that belong to another ranch. After they have been parted and identified, the owners are called to come and retrieve them.
-  Les explained that an empty "bag," or udder, can identify dry cows, and they tend to be in better shape than cows with calves. Pregnant dry cows are not sold. "Open" cows, animals that are not pregnant, are kept or sold depending upon their age and conformation. Cows with calves are separated so new calves can be branded and older calves weaned. Cows with weaners are also pregnancy tested and older or inferior animals will be sold. Some cow calf pairs will also be sold.
16mm film
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1991/021: NV9-VT6
Source Collection
Paradise Valley Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1991/021)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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Credit line

Paradise Valley Folklife Project collection, 1978-1982 (AFC 1991/021), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Fleischhauer, Carl, and William Smock. Sorting the Herd. 1979. Video.

APA citation style:

Fleischhauer, C. & Smock, W. (1979) Sorting the Herd. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Fleischhauer, Carl, and William Smock. Sorting the Herd. 1979. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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