Dry ice can be used in countless industries for countless purposes, and freeze-branding cattle is another one of the surprising and unique ways you can use dry ice. Instead of heating branding irons like in traditional methods, the branding irons are chilled using dry ice. The cold branding iron destroys the cells that produce skin and hair pigmentation, so when the hair grows back it is bright white. Branding using dry ice ensures a final product that lasts longer and causes less damage. How can you use dry ice to freeze brand cattle?
Gather Your Tools
Here is a suggested list of tools to have ready before you begin the branding process:
- Branding Irons—look for irons that are made of copper or bronze, between 3/8 and 1/2 an inch thick, at least 1 inch deep, and 3-4 inches irons.
- Dry ice—15 lbs. of dry ice will work for a small herd of cattle if the branding is done quickly and immediately, but if you have a long transportation time or have to brand many cattle, buy more to be safe.
- Clippers—Shave down the hair on the area to be branded on the cattle to make the branding easier.
- Container for the dry ice—Make sure that you choose a container that is well insulated and able to withstand the intense cold of dry ice, like metal containers or Styrofoam coolers.
Use Dry Ice to Cool the Irons
The dry ice solution will reach the optimum temperature within about 5 minutes. Insert the branding irons into the cooling solution and wait about 10 minutes for them to chill completely. Once you have completed the branding once, it will only take about 5 minutes for them to cool for the next cattle branding. As always, follow safety precautions when using dry ice.
Brand the Animal
Once the cattle are restrained, trim the area that is going to be branded. Apply room temperature alcohol to the area before branding. Next, apply the branding iron to the area. Press down firmly for best results. Hold the branding iron in place for 30-40 seconds to make sure that it holds well.
Looking for a New Way to Brand Your Cattle?
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our dry ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you determine the best way to brand your cattle, whether you have a huge ranch or just a couple cows, and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.