On the great cattle ranches in the West and Southwest a scene like this is a common one. Here the cowboys, mounted on their fleet ponies, are engaged in dividing the cattle. These "round-ups," as they are called, may be for the purpose of taking out of the herd the cattle that are ready for market. Or they may be for the purpose of separating the calves from the mothers and branding them. Branding is necessary on these large ranches. Many of the ranches contain thousands of acres and are unfenced. If the herds belonging to two different ranches should become mixed, it is easy, because of the brand or mark burned on the cattle, to tell to whom they belong. Then, too, cattle stealing is not uncommon. If a ranchman is found with cattle marked with a brand that is not his, the suspicion is strong against him. In former days, cattle thieves were dealt with very quickly and without mercy. Cowboys would hunt the thief down, perhaps after a long chase on ponies. One of the lariats would serve nicely as an executioner's rope. A neighboring tree would act as the scaffold. It is not hard to guess what was the end of the thief. These cattle round-ups try the skill of the expert cowboys and their more expert ponies. Sometimes the cattle stampede, as there are always some members of the herd that insist on breaking away from the group with which the cowboys wish to put them. Texas easily leads all other states in the Union in the production of cattle. Many of these Texas cattle are raised on ranches such as the one you see here. Ten percent of our cattle are produced in Texas. Iowa ranks second, with about 7%; Wisconsin, third, with less than 5%. Keystone ID: 13756 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.