Every farmer cares for his cattle. One sign of care would be to switch to freeze-branding. Caring is only one of the reasons why so many stud breeders and commercial producers prefer this method to any other.

Dry Ice International is your one-stop shop when it comes to freeze-branding. There is a reason why this company was nominated in the Best In-Studio Category for the OntbytSake Company of the Year 2024.

Why freeze-branding?

There are many advantages to freeze-branding. For starters, it is less painful to the animal than regular hot-iron branding. This ensures that the trauma they experience is reduced. Furthermore, your animal will not have broken or damaged skin, therefore no infection will be caused. The physical and emotional well-being of your cattle is prioritised with freeze-branding.

This method is less painful, yet permanent. The marks are clearly visible and can be seen from far away. It is easier to read at greater distances than ear tags or many hot-iron brands.

If you like your cattle to be presented as neat, freeze-branding is ideal, as it ensures that there is no blotching on your animal.

This method is also diverse and can even be used on pregnant heifers. It is ideal for branding dairy cows.

During and 5 minutes after application of the freeze-branding iron.

How does it work?

The use of freeze-branding kills the cells in the hair follicle that produces pigment. A while after the animal has been branded, when the hair starts to grow out, it will grow out white. The contrast it creates against the animal’s hide will make the branding stand out.

Not only is this process very simple, but it is also efficient and fast. It takes only about 45 seconds to brand an animal. Freeze-branding works best on animal with a darker hide, like black or brown. However, that does not limit its use. Freeze-branding can still be used on animals with a lighter coloured hide. The amount of time the branding-iron is left on should then increase to 60 seconds.

Freeze-branding vs hot iron-branding: freeze-branding is less painful and does not burn your cattle’s skin.

After that, the area that was branded will swell up and produce a welt in the outline of the brand. Then, after 2 to 3 weeks, it will form a scab and begin to peel. There will be a clear print of the brand on the animal’s skin. After about 30 to 45 days the permanent branded area will be visible.

Per 100 cattle you will need about 40 kg of dry ice. You will also need about 40 ℓ of isopropyl alcohol. You can put the isopropyl alcohol into a spray bottle and use it as a coolant and disinfectant before the procedure. The alcohol can be drained and then used again, which reduces waste.

An iron made from heavy copper or bronze can be used as a freeze-branding iron. Its face should be slightly rounded. It should be between 8 to 10 cm in size and 2,5 cm thick.

For more information, visit the Dry Ice International website at www.dryice.co.za.