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L & H Branding Irons

Freeze Branding Procedure

Freeze Branding Times

Branding times vary according to the type of metal in the irons (all times shown here are for L & H brass freeze branding irons) and the age, skin thickness and color of the animal. Branders should calibrate their freeze branding irons by branding the recommended times and keeping accurate records of times and results. 

Animal Coolant Application Time


Colt Liquid Nitrogen 6-12 Seconds
Dry Ice & Alcohol 16-24 Seconds
Horse Liquid Nitrogen 8-12 Seconds
Dry Ice & Alcohol 20-24 Seconds
Calf Liquid Nitrogen 21-24 Seconds
Dry Ice & Alcohol 40-50 Seconds
Cow Liquid Nitrogen 25-30 Seconds
Dry Ice & Alcohol 50-60 Seconds

Branding Procedure

Chill the irons in the desired coolant. Pour enough coolant into the container to adequately cover the heads of the irons by 1". The surface of the coolant will appear to boil when the irons are introduced into the coolant, when this boiling subsides the irons are as cool as the coolant will allow and are ready to use.

Restrain the animal with your desired method, squeeze chute or calf table for cattle and twitch or stock for horses, making sure the site to be branded is accessible. If the animal needs to be sedated consult your veterinarian.

Clean the brand site of foreign material. Clip the brand site as square as possible, particularly at the bottom, to aid in square placement of the brand. Throughly dry the brand site if the animal is sweating or is wet from the rain or washing.

Squirt room temperature alcohol over the brand site, thoroughly covering the entire area. This removes some skin oils and helps transfer cold from the iron head to the skin.

Immediately after the alcohol soak, quickly remove the appropriate iron from the container, align it properly and firmly press the iron squarely on the brand site. As the iron is pressed to the skin the stopwatch should be started. Hold the iron firmly, applying 35 to 45 pounds of steady pressure, with a slight rocking motion. When the appropriate time has elapsed on the stopwatch, the iron should be immediately removed from contact with the skin.


A comprehensive, step by step video of freeze branding as it pertains to horses. Gives details on the process, theory and practice. 24 minutes. $29.95 or $15.95 with purchase of Freeze Iron.