Time Will Tell

When we took the majority of the cows up to the mesa the other day, there were a few unbranded calves we needed to take care of.  Daniel, too, wanted to brand his little herd.  Since Daniel uses freeze branding, I thought I’d show that to you.  While they recommend freeze branding in the spring, when they’re shedding, or in the fall, when winter hair is coming in, he decided to try it anyway.

For freeze branding you use dry ice and rubbing alcohol.  Mix the two together and the special irons get Very Cold!

freeze branding

While they’re chilling, you must shave off excess hair…

freeze branding

Plus clean them up…

freeze branding

Then you must grow a third hand to hold that third number…

freeze branding

You have to hold it in place for quite a while, Daniel held them for 90 seconds.  Finally, to see if you were successful, you tap on them!  If they’re hard, as in frozen, your brand should work.

freeze branding

Time will tell if this worked… the hair should grow back in white.  When it works, it’s pretty, and quite easy to see!  I’ll let you know!



Time Will Tell — 10 Comments

  1. I’ve seen freeze branding but didn’t know exactly how it is done. Hope it turns out well. Thanks for the info!.

  2. Do the cows object to this type of branding the way they do with fire branding? i.e. does it seem to be less painful for them? I mean, I can see the benefit of having big white numbers on your black cows for identification purposes! (Probably wouldn’t work as well on, say, a Charolaise or other light-colored breed…) Your blog is so darn interesting! All the time! Thanks!

    • Well, they don’t like being run in the chute and held in place for a minute and a half. If you’ve ever handled dry ice, you know it does burn, but it’s a different kind of numbing burn. Probably less actual pain, but more stress from the process lasting much longer. I still think I prefer the hot irons which is over with much quicker.

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