The Luling Foundation uses freeze branding rather than fire branding to identify its cattle. It takes a little more time and money than traditional branding.
What is Freeze Branding?
Freeze branding is a process in which extreme cold instead of extreme heat is used to brand animals. The extreme cold, when applied to the hide of an animal, kills the pigmentation in the hair follicles. It causes white hair to grow where darker hair would normally grow.
What are the advantages of Freeze Branding?
Freeze branding causes less pain and stress to the animal than traditional fire branding and decreases the risk for infection. Also, this process is more visible in many cases, like for The Luling Foundation's dark skinned Angus cattle.
- Spray Bottle
- Denatured Alcohol
- Dry Ice
Before the actual branding is started, the brand needs to be sitting in a tub filled with denatured alcohol and dry ice. The spot where the brand will be placed on the animal needs to be shaved and sprayed with denatured alcohol until thoroughly soaked. Next, the brand will be removed from the coolant and placed on the skin for about 50 seconds. During this time it is very important the brand is held firmly in place. About three months after the branding, the hair should grow back white.