Posted in Ranching

Freeze Branding 2017

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This is what a freeze brand looks like.  (Picture taken off of google)
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Here is a freeze brand on a horse.  (Picture taken off of google)

We freeze brand our cows’ numbers, so that the numbers can be easy to find on them if we need them.  It also works good if the cow loses her tag.  We do it every year on that year’s first calvers.

How do you freeze brand?

For those of you who don’t know what freeze branding is, I’ll try my best to explain (along with some pictures).  You take dry ice and mix it with 99% alcohol.   You put the branding irons in the concoction.  I think it is about 160 degrees below zero.  It will make the irons really cold.

Dad will shave the spot where the irons will go.
Dad puts alcohol on the shaved place.  The alcohol will transfer the cold.
Then you put the branding irons on.  For the cold to fully take effect, you leave the irons on for 1 minute.

And… you are done with that cow.  It does take a little time, but it works really well.  In the spring, the cow will shed her winter hair and it will grow back white where we branded.  The cold from branding will take the pigment out of the hair; that is how it turns white.  This spring, Grandpa will shave the hair again where the numbers are, and you will be able to see the numbers really well.

I think that is all there is.  If you have any questions, ask in comments below.

Hope everybody’s new year is going well!

Written by: britt



Hi! I am a ranch girl who lives in southwestern MT. This blog tells about all of our adventures and stories on the ranch!

7 thoughts on “Freeze Branding 2017

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