The practice of branding cattle has been around for over 4,000 years dating back to the ancient Egyptians, and has continued to be an effective way to track and keep record of large animals.
While the most common form has been hot branding, a newer type has emerged in recent times. Freeze branding is only effective on darker-haired cattle, but it’s easier to read from far away and causes less pain to the livestock.
Here are the important things to keep in mind with freeze branding.
When freeze branding, there are some specific items that you will need to get besides the regular branding tools.
For freeze branding, 4 inch irons are usually the best choice, and if possible get 2 of each number plus any alphabetical irons you might want for your brand. The main ingredients you will be using for the procedure are dry ice and isopropyl alcohol, which should be 99% pure.
You will want to store the dry ice in a plastic or styrofoam cooler, while a spray bottle is helpful for the alcohol. Other cleaning tools are helpful to remove dirt and excess hair from the desired branding spot.
Plan Your Station
Before you begin to brand your cattle, work out the logistics of the operation. Determine how many cows you are going to be branding, and then buy around 0.5 lbs./head of dry ice and 1 pint/head of isopropyl alcohol.
Figure out where on the animals you are going to place the brand so that it is consistent, with a flat large surface often the best choice. Another thing to keep in mind is the location and timing of your branding.
Hot weather will mess up the freezing process, so either doing the procedure indoors or during a cooler time would aid your branding efforts.
Use Resources Well
When you are branding the livestock, you want to be as efficient with your limited resources as possible. While one brand is used, the other set should be sitting in a cooler of dry ice so that when the next cow is ready the iron is in prime condition to brand.
Another helpful thing is to have a team working together with the whole process instead of doing it by yourself. That way, the system can move quickly and waste less time moving the cattle through the branding steps.
Central Florida Freeze Brands
Freeze branding is a highly effective tool to record livestock and is mostly painless for the animals themselves.
At Domer’s, we have freeze brands made with a copper alloy that allows for quick and simple brands on your cattle.
To learn more about the brands we have to offer, call us at 863-763-3417.