Freeze Branding & Herdwatch

Patrick Bolger

| Cattle & Dairy

| Nov 5, 2014

Freeze branding
The season for freeze branding is in full swing. Farmers want to know at a glance which animal is looking good, which are showing signs of being in heat or which are showing signs of ill health and might need treatment. Freeze branding allows the farmer to observe all these and more, for each individual animal accurately from a distance. These observations can be now be recorded automatically in Herdwatch by simply bringing that animal up by their unique freeze brand number.

During the freeze branding process a unique number is branded onto the animal’s hind with dry ice and methylated spirits used with branding irons which kills the pigment in the hair follicle and makes the hair grow back white. This branding number can then be stored in Herdwatch and can be brought up at any time. Effective brands are achieved by a professional branding operator and FRS provides an excellent branding service nationwide.

Timing is a crucial consideration when branding and varies with age, weight and condition of the animal. FRS recommend branding replacement heifers at approximately one year of age as the brand will grow with the animal and they will have a larger more visible number by the time calving time.

Freeze branding has a very important role to play in herd management and it is now obligatory for accurate milk recording.  It is a more effective option of identification than ear tags as they can get lost, the number can fade or the tag can become unreadable due to mud and manure. If a number of people are involved in the management of the herd, especially at breeding times, branding is an effective way to manage operations and with Herdwatch everyone can be kept up to date.

The advantages of freeze branding & Herdwatch include:

Freeze Brands


Do not fall off or wear off

Information recorded is securely backed up to the cloud

The only permanent identification available for cows

Animal details can be easily brought up in Herdwatch by freeze brand number to record information on the animal

Ideal for identification in the milking parlour or in the fields

Animals withdrawn due to treatment can be quickly identified using Herdwatch

Easy to read from a distance

Your herd details are accessible anytime, anywhere through your smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC

Essential for stock identification

Heat detection can be quickly recorded through freeze brand number when observed and grouped for AI (Artificial Insemination) in Herdwatch

Suitable for all animals

With Herdwatch you have your whole herd in your hand!

If you are a Dairy or Beef farmer and would like the peace of mind of being compliant at all times, and have access to your valuable farm records anytime, anywhere, subscribe to Herdwatch now for just €130 inc VAT.

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