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bjgiff13 08-12-2011 06:36 PM

freeze branding
Does anyone freeze brand much? Is the info in the link below good info?

I often see people inquiring about freeze branding horses.

I've done it a fair amount and have learned how to get the results.

The following is my experience only and may not be what others have experienced.

*Liquid Nitrogen gives much more consistent results and is easier.

*I rent a tank from an AI facility that supplies the liquid nitrogen as well.

*When the putting the irons in the liquid nitrogen I use a styrofoam cooler. I notch the edge of the lid so that the handle of the iron can fit through it. The tighter the notch the better. The liquid nitrogen tends to evaporate quickly.

*Make sure you are using a freeze brand iron.

Step 1-

Place the liquid nitrogen in the cooler so that there is plenty to cover the iron. Place the iron in the cooler and replace lid.


Shave the area to be branded. You need to shave it to the skin. I have had great experience with cordless clippers that are as quiet as possible.


Clean the area to be branded with alcohol. Go to the drug store and get 99% pure. A diluted version has the possibility of forming ice between the iron and the skin. It could cause the brand to not take.


Apply the branding iron to the area with firm pressure. Time will depend on the thickness of the horses skin. I'd suggest at least 20 seconds but thin hided horses may require less. I've applied the iron to bucking horses with thick skin for as long as 60+ seconds.

When the brand is "right" it'll be indented in the skin and will feel "frozen hard". You are basically killing the pigment cells in the hair follicle (is my understanding). Within the next 24 hours it will be slightly welted if it was done properly.

If you leave the iron on too long it will not grow in white. It'll come out as a brand similar to a "hot iron brand". If you don't get either a traditional looking brand or a freeze brand- you didn't hold the iron on long enough or didn't apply pressure during the "branding process".

Keep an eye on the auction site. Working a deal out with a supplier for freeze brand irons that will custom build an iron for you.

BCtazzie 08-13-2011 09:37 PM

I would say:

step 1: clip the area, never had to "shave" to skin. worked fine for over 3000 cows and countless horses over time

step 2: have someone that knows what they are doing.

I have seen some messy messy brands over time (just about unreadable, due to the 20 second rule with the animal moving from sting) We were lucky that our Farrier was also a brander and we got him to do our horses and cattle (dairy) you want it nice and neat. never used isopro. again all of the above have been fine.

I would not really go by those instructions, would not class them as 100% correct. Find someone that does it alot and and slowly learn from them.

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