A photo of the Egg on the way to Wichita Falls out from Lubbock and close to the pitch fork ranch and farther on the 6666 ranch, some big spreads, very impressive looking. I am sure I have read about them in western and historic books, but can not remember exactly what. I need to look them up on the web:
On December 13, 1883 the Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company was incorporated with 52,500 acres of land in central West Texas and a foundation herd of 9,750 cattle. Unlike most ranches established during the great cattle boom of the 1880s, the Pitchfork survived episodes of drought and cattle depression for more than 100 years. No other ranch in central West Texas can boast being larger today than during its initial years.
The Pitchfork home ranch covers 165,000 acres in Dickens and King counties near the town of Guthrie, Texas, with a satellite operation in Kansas. The Pitchfork is larger today than at any time in its history. Recently, the Pitchfork sold its Flag Ranch operation in Wyoming and purchased more lands in Texas. Although the Pitchfork's operations have expanded and modernized, its core business remains the same: cattle.
"Actually, our cattle breeding program is not real sophisticated," says the ranch's manager, Bob Moorhouse. "But it's good. I know it's good because the people we sell our yearlings to come back the next year." The Pitchfork cattle herd is Hereford-based, as it has been since the beginning. "Then we have what I call a South Texas cross cow," adds Moorhouse, referring to a herd that stems from crossbred Brahman heifers. The cattle adapted to the tough country and have thrived there.
With around 5,000 mother cows grazing the home ranch, the cowboys have ample opportunity to work the range in a manner very similar to the cowboys who first rode for the brand. Pitchfork cowboys have always ridden good horses. The signature "Pitchfork Gray" -- a gray horse with a black mane and tail -- has now become as synonymous with the ranch as the brand itself. The Pitchfork's horses have become widely known because they're worked in so many conditions.
For nearly 100 years the Pitchfork's profits and losses were affected only by the weather and the price of cattle. In addition, oil exploration has been a part of the Pitchfork's operations, with significant finds in the Tannehill sands area. This year the Pitchfork is establishing hunting on the ranch, with guided hunts for deer, game birds, boar and other game.
The Pitchfork has changed with the times, as change was necessary. However, it has never forgotten its past, never forgotten the traditions and ethic that allowed it to survive when many others failed. Helicopters and computers are now as common as ropes and saddles at the Pitchfork. But the ranch's cowboys eat at the same table as the ranch's cowboys did nearly a century before. Some things never change and never should.
The Four Sixes: The untamed, rugged land of Texas became home to legendary ranchers and cowboys as big and windy as the state itself. The vast horizon sprawled across the big-country in which they established prosperous land and cattle operations. Among them was the Four Sixes Ranch. Comprised of one-third million acres, the ranch has a storied history that began with a poker game and a winning hand of four sixes—reputedly, but not so. In true Texas fashion, it does make a good story, though.
The real history of the Four Sixes began with Samuel Burk Burnett, who became one of the most influential and prosperous cattlemen in Texas. Before the age of 20, he purchased from Frank Crowley in Denton County a herd of cattle wearing the 6666 brand. Burnett recorded the brand in 1875 in Wichita County, Texas, on the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation in 1881 and in other counties in years following.
The origin of the 6666 brand and why it was used by Crowley is unknown. But it had nothing to do with a card game. The element of luck always associated with Burk Burnett is not unfounded. His land, which supported thousands of cattle also held some of the state’s richest oil reservoirs.
The Four Sixes Ranch continues today as a forerunner in the cattle industry. As a cow/calf operation, the ranch maintains a breeding herd of some 7,000 mother cows. Angus cows and bulls produce calves, which are managed from birth through weaning and on to feedlot finishing. The quality of Four Sixes cattle is well known.
The ranch is also recognized for its exceptional horses. The brand used on the Sixes’ horses is the same one burned on the first horses Burk Burnett bought. Records reveal those cow horses were acquired from Captain
M.B. Loyd of Fort Worth, who became Burk’s father-in-law. The horses were branded with the letter L on the left shoulder, as they are today.
At the roadside rest by the windmill as I got out of the Ranger to check the egg out, my wife saw a tom turkey take off running with it head streched out.