Cattle Branding Iron
The act of branding cattle with fire-heated irons has been in practice from the time cattle were used as a commodity. By exploring history, we come to learn that the branding of animals like cows, sheep and horses has been going on since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Even today, cattle are branded or marked to identify ownership or for identification of individual animals.
Advancement in technologies has led to other means for cattle identification like ear tagging and placement of electronic IDs. However, these techniques are easy to manipulate for thieves and fraudsters. For cattle owners, the use of branding iron to leave identifying mark on the skin of animals is permanent and theft-proof. In the ranching lifestyle, this type of cattle branding has continued as a tradition. Once a cow or a horse or a sheep has been branded, it becomes easy to trace them even when they move outside a ranch or mix with other herds.
What is a Cattle Brand Composed of?
‘Brand’ is a Germanic word which refers to anything hot or burning. So, branding simply means burning a mark (symbol, letter or text) into the skin of cattle. While others may look at a brand as a mere symbol for identification, these marks have specific meanings associated with them.
Basically, a brand is comprised of a couple of letters and numbers. Often combined with a symbol or a geometric shape, these letters have many variations of alphabets, used to indicate different meanings. If a cow or a horse is branded with an upside down character, it denotes ‘craziness’. Likewise, different types of marks or symbols are used to refer to ‘walking’, ‘flying’, ‘lazy’ etc. Every time the word ‘brand’ comes up, it reminds one of erstwhile cowboys and cattle drivers of the West.
Types of Cattle Branding Iron
Over the years, different styles have emerged to produce different types of branding irons for cattle marking. Cattle branding irons can be categorized into following types based on the heating methods used in their design.
Fire-heated cattle branding iron relates to the traditional method of marking cattle in earlier times. This type of cattle branding iron is both common and cost-effective. That’s why, they are in wide use even today. Using this branding iron, cattle owners can easily create highly visible marks on the hides of their cattle. Fire-heated branding iron is used to brand both livestock and objects.
Cattle branding irons that can be heated using electricity are known as electric branding iron. Unlike fire-heated branding iron, electric branding iron allows users to control the temperature. As per specific requirements, cattle owners can increase or decrease the temperature when using this cattle branding iron.
Propane branding irons provide a good substitute for heating. In a place where there is no electricity, the iron head can be heated via an uninterrupted flow of propane gas. In this type of cattle branding too, the user can adjust the temperature as per their specific requirements. There are also large LP gas heaters that have the capacity to heat multiple propane cattle branding irons at a time.
Freeze branding is an interest technique which involves the use of chilled branding iron to create identification marks on the hides of cattle. When freeze branding iron is applied to the skin of cattle, it damages the pigment producing cells. As a result, when the hair regrows, it is all white. Freeze branding has gained much popularity over a short period of time, as the look of the white symbol or mark on a black-skinned animal is quite appealing. The coolants used in this process of cattle branding include liquid nitrogen or dry ice (with 99% alcohol or high octane gasoline).
Why You Need Our Cattle Branding Iron
At Livestock Branding Irons, we produce an array of cattle branding iron to fulfill a variety of needs for legible cattle marking. Regardless of what type, style or design of branding heads you need, we can create them for you while paying close attention to every detail and achieving precision. We produce all the cattle branding iron in-house and offer top-notch personalized solutions.
On an ongoing basis, we ship bulk orders of cattle branding iron to countries all over the world and our products have been widely acclaimed for their superior quality and best results. You’ll love our products too!