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Freeze branding is a branding process that involves the use of liquid nitrogen or dry ice and alcohol to cool a branding iron so that the iron may then be used to alter the hair follicle of an animal to remove the pigmentation or to remove the hair altogether, depending on the color of the animal. Hair in the branded area will grow back white. On animals with white hair or no hair, the iron is left on the skin long enough so that the hair falls out and the area is balded or the skin depigmented. It is most commonly used as an identification mark for ownership.

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  • Freeze brand
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  • Freeze branding is a branding process that involves the use of liquid nitrogen or dry ice and alcohol to cool a branding iron so that the iron may then be used to alter the hair follicle of an animal to remove the pigmentation or to remove the hair altogether, depending on the color of the animal. Hair in the branded area will grow back white. On animals with white hair or no hair, the iron is left on the skin long enough so that the hair falls out and the area is balded or the skin depigmented. It is most commonly used as an identification mark for ownership.
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  • Freeze branding is a branding process that involves the use of liquid nitrogen or dry ice and alcohol to cool a branding iron so that the iron may then be used to alter the hair follicle of an animal to remove the pigmentation or to remove the hair altogether, depending on the color of the animal. Hair in the branded area will grow back white. On animals with white hair or no hair, the iron is left on the skin long enough so that the hair falls out and the area is balded or the skin depigmented. It is most commonly used as an identification mark for ownership. Freeze branding is used as an alternative to the more traditional hot branding. This process involves the use of a hot iron to scar an animal's skin, which can be painful and traumatizing to the animal. Freeze branding has been gaining in popularity as a less painful way to permanently mark and identify animals. There has been debate whether freeze branding truly is less painful than hot branding, but studies conducted to compare the pain of the two methods have concluded that freeze branding is indeed less painful. Freeze branding is done by cooling the branding iron to a temperature of −78 to −196 °C (195.2 to 77.1 K; −108.4 to −320.8 °F), depending on the coolant used, and then pressing the brand to a shaved patch of skin on a pigmented animal. The area will be temporarily inflamed but will heal within a few days. The hair falls out, and after two to three months hair will be fully regrown, without pigment. The hair will continue to grow white from that point onward, so this is still permanent for animals that shed their coats. On white-haired animals, the brand is kept on longer, destroying the hair follicle altogether, and the area remains bald, and thus the brand can still be used to identify white-haired animals.
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