Freeze branding is a method of branding livestock that involves the use of extremely cold temperatures to permanently mark an animal with a unique identifier. This method of branding is commonly used on horses, cattle, and other large livestock.
To freeze brand an animal, a branding iron is first chilled to a temperature of between -50 to -100 degrees Celsius using liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Once the branding iron is sufficiently cold, it is applied to the animal's skin for a period of time ranging from 10 to 60 seconds, depending on the type of animal and the desired branding size. This causes the hair follicles to die and the hair to grow back white or light-colored in the shape of the branding iron, creating a permanent and easily identifiable mark on the animal.
Freeze branding is considered a humane method of livestock identification because it causes less pain and injury to the animal compared to traditional hot branding, which involves the use of a red-hot branding iron. Additionally, freeze branding has the added benefit of reducing the risk of infection since it doesn't involve breaking the skin.