Several of the dairys I work with use freezebrands. On white they brands are hard to read clearly. One herd has terrible looking brands on most of the cows the others the brands are acceptable. A lot has to do with the skill of the person doing the work. The colling of the iron has to be uniform and consistant from cow to cow.
> What are the experiences of anyone
> doing freeze branding? Any hints
> and tips to make it work well,
> from restraining calf to what to
> expect would be welcome.
All of my animals are colored, so the brand should show well. Did you ever see the branding done? I am wondering about hot vs freeze... is the pain the same? ( I don't mean to sound silly, but knowing the pain level sort of helps me figure out what the animal is going through and adjust my actions accordingly.) I am also wondering about the steps to healing... I know what hot branding heals like, but have never seen freeze branding....
I've had burns from ln2 and from heat, I sure couldn't tell the difference, they both hurt like hell. The healing was about the same with both because you are actaully freeze burning. I've never sat and watched, but I've seen it being done and never paid much attention. As with a lot of things, the calves fought more from being restrained then from the branding, I think.
> All of my animals are colored, so
> the brand should show well. Did
> you ever see the branding done? I
> am wondering about hot vs
> freeze... is the pain the same? (
> I don't mean to sound silly, but
> knowing the pain level sort of
> helps me figure out what the
> animal is going through and adjust
> my actions accordingly.) I am also
> wondering about the steps to
> healing... I know what hot
> branding heals like, but have
> never seen freeze branding....
We're going to start freeze branding as soon as the irons we ordered arrive, but haven't done it before.
Both types of branding cause thermal injuries to the skin. However, my understanding is the freeze branding does not cause the initial pain you see with hot iron branding. I've had spots on my skin removed with liquid nitrogen treatment at the doctor's office and there was really no pain when the cold was applied, although there was pain later.
Good deal! I found a site that I thought was pretty good and will be sharing it with my cow camp crew so they know what we are REALLY trying to do! <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/ldtexas/howto.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/ldtexas/howto.html</A>
Those are some good photos, Omak. I have some written info from our state brand inspector I could mail to you if you would like. Just email me.
> Good deal! I found a site that I
> thought was pretty good and will
> be sharing it with my cow camp
> crew so they know what we are
> REALLY trying to do!
> <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/ldtexas/howto.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/ldtexas/howto.html</A>
We have been freeze branding all our cattle for 8 years now. Brass irons are a must for good results. We have found that dry ice and alcohol gives better results than liquid nitrogen. For dark color you hold the brand on for about 60 seconds. They will jump around some before it gets numb and add some seconds if you have to replace the iron. If you go too short, you will not get a brand, but if you go too long you will kill the hair so you won't see the brand. When in doubt, go short and re do with your next calf crop if necessary. If the iron is near or over a bone, rock it around so you don't just get pressure on the bone only. You can hold 3 or four numbers on at once if you have two people holding the brands. A professional crew will have duplicate numbers to save time. (For Cow number 888 you will have to use the 8, cool the 8, use the 8, cool the 8, use the 8 again. About 5 minutes rather than one.) An iron is cooled enough to use again when it quits boiling the alcohol.
Well, so far I have done it all wrong. My brand is copper. I have a liquid nitrogen tank coming in a couple of weeks. I don't know where to get dry ice. Thank you for letting me know what I have to do. I will get it better next year.... barring any delays, human errors, Communist intervention or acts of GOD.... lol I appreciate your input. Thank you again. I figured I would head/heel rope, lay the calf on its side and start the procedure. I think dunmovin' hit it on the head when he said the calf fought more from being restrained than from the pain.
I certainly hope copper irons work well, as I've ordered copper alloy irons through NASCO. I think they will work just fine from the reading I've done.
As for dry ice - it's available here in grocery stores - usually a freezer near the checkstands. I think the reason for using the dry ice/alcohol mixture is that those substances are usually more readily available than liquid nitrogen. I hadn't heard or read of any difference in the effectiveness until the post above.
> Well, so far I have done it all
> wrong. My brand is copper. I have
> a liquid nitrogen tank coming in a
> couple of weeks. I don't know
> where to get dry ice. Thank you
> for letting me know what I have to
> do. I will get it better next
> year.... barring any delays, human
> errors, Communist intervention or
> acts of GOD.... lol I appreciate
> your input. Thank you again. I
> figured I would head/heel rope,
> lay the calf on its side and start
> the procedure. I think dunmovin'
> hit it on the head when he said
> the calf fought more from being
> restrained than from the pain.
>I think the reason for using the dry
> ice/alcohol mixture is that those
> substances are usually more
> readily available than liquid
The professionals we use to freeze brand our cattle have access to liquid nitrogen on hand at all times, because they also sell semen and fill tanks. they travel two hours away to get dry ice, because they get better results. They tell me you hold the iron on for a much shorter time with liquid nitrogen and have less room for error. You are much more likely to get no brand if you go to short or dead hair folicle if you go to long. Either way, no visible brand. Precise timing would be great, but different animals need more or less time and then you have to add some if they jump around and knock the iron off. Dry ice and alcohol gives you more fudge factor.