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SBBF Sherlock Horns getting freeze branded.
 

We've been contemplating the best ways to brand our little herd. We treat the cattle like they are our pets.  I must stress, they do not sleep on our beds like Tara and Hood, the dogs, do.  At first we thought branding was an in-human option.  I just could not imagine placing an excessively hot metal branding iron on the animal just to mark it. The mark becomes a scar and the cattle's hair never grows back in that area. 

After researching the different options, we decided to freeze brand the cattle.  Freeze branding actually uses liquid nitrogen (one can also use rubbing alcohol and dry ice, since liquid nitrogen is not readily available to everyone.  Once you have the liquid nitrogen or dry ice you will want to use a brass branding iron and chill it with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to make it an extremely cold temperature.  This brass branding iron is then placed on the cattle's shaved skin.  The freezing cold iron basically creates a frost-bitten area on the cattle.  A few days after the freeze branding, the cattle will have the markings of the branding iron.  So what's the main difference between the traditional branding versus freeze branding?  The freeze branding allows the hair follicles to return.  The hair follicles will be a different color so the brand will still show through.  We are still learning, but loving every moment with our little longhorn family!