Freeze Branding Workshop March 9 at MU Wurdack Farm

Ted Cunningham, MU Extension Livestock Specialist

University of Missouri Extension will host a “Freeze Branding Workshop” at the University of Missouri Wurdack Farm, near Cook Station, MO from 3:00 to 5:30 pm Friday, March 9th.  This workshop is designed to provide participants with “hands-on” training required to successfully administer freeze brands to their livestock.

Freeze branding is an excellent way to permanently identify cattle and other livestock species.  The process involves chilling branding irons using liquid nitrogen or dry ice, than applying the irons to the animals hide, which results in destroying or altering the pigment producing cells of the hair follicle.  When properly administered the hair grows back white in color making for a very legible brand, especially when applied to dark-hided livestock.

There are several benefits of freeze branding.  Recently, interest in branding as a theft deterrent has regained popularity.  Freeze branding works very well for this purpose, and as opposed to hot iron brands, freeze brands are generally easier to read.  Freeze brands also work well as a permanent ID, especially for breeding stock, which may simplify record keeping for the farm manager.  Additionally, freeze brands do not damage the hides of the animal as with hot iron brands, which in turn improves the value of the hide when sold.

Topics for the workshop will include all necessary steps required for properly freeze branding livestock using liquid nitrogen or dry ice, as well as information pertaining to the Missouri Brand Law.  To provide hands-on instruction, participants will have the opportunity to assist in freeze branding replacement heifers at MU Wurdack Farm.

Cost of the workshop is $10 per person.  Class size is limited, and reservations are required by Wednesday, March 7, 2018.  For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Ted Cunningham, Livestock Specialist at the Dent County MU Extension Office at 573-729-3196 or

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