• Freeze vs. Fire Branding as Methods of Beef Cattle Identification

      Thrift, F. A.; Absher, C. W. (Society for Range Management, 1971-01-01)
      Over a three-week period in April 1969, 200 Hereford females, ranging in age from 15 months to 10 years, were branded with their individual herd numbers on each side of the rib cage just behind the shoulder with either freeze or fire brands. The brands were evaluated for legibility on January 14, 1970, using the following scoring system: 1 = no visible numbers; 2 = visible numbers, but illegible; 3 = incomplete numbers, but able to understand after study; 4 = easily recognizable numbers, but with breaks or unbranded areas; 5 = instantly recognizable, complete unbroken numbers. Variation among brand scores was partitioned into age of cow, side of cow, type of brand and the two-way interactions between these three effects. Type of brand was the only significant source of variation influencing the brand scores, and the fire brands (4.35) were more legible than the freeze brands (3.75). However, it should be stressed that neither type of brand was legible at the time of evaluation without first clipping the brands.