Livestock Summer Hair Care
Summer heat got you down? It’s also having a massive effect on your show calf’s ring-ready look. While having a cool room is helpful in preparing your animals to be their fluffiest selves, it’s also important to know how to maximize what you have.
Nutrition is Key
A healthy diet that promotes hair growth is just as important as the environment where your animals reside. If you are adding in extras to promote hair growth, make sure the ration is balanced. In this case, there can be too much of a good thing.
It’s easy to assume that because an animal in cool they require a lesser amount of water and fluid but this is not true. Remember that your calf is in the cool room for a purpose, to grow hair. All bodily processes take energy and for that, your animal needs to stay hydrated. While inside the cool room, make sure you have circulating air. The temperature should be kept between 45-55 degrees.
The last thing you want to do is shock your animal’s system. Moving from really cold to really hot locations, and vice versa can be detrimental. Don’t turn your animals back outside until it is dark and the temperature is 70 degrees or lower.
Essentially, your animal is growing hair because you are tricking their body into thinking it is winter and their bodies need the extra hair to survive. A cool room is one way to do this, but another very helpful method is to limit the amount of light your animal is exposed to mimicking a winter day which has fewer daylight hours. Keep your cool room extremely dark and pens as dark as possible really striving to eliminate all sunlight.
Rinse your animal multiple times per day and always before turning them out at night. Running water over your animals should be done in increments of 30 minutes leaving your animal feeling cool to the touch. It is not necessary to use shampoo every time you rinse your animal, however, you may consider using a conditioning product to protect the hair.
After rinsing your animal, a rice brush is an excellent way to remove excess water. No matter what you choose to use, it is important that you do brush and comb your animal as this process stimulates blood flow to the hair and hair follicles. Consider using a roto (drill) brush on your animal weekly along the body and every day on the legs. Be very careful not to catch the tail in the brush and apply pressure sparingly letting the brush do the work.
Have a helpful tip? Let us know in the comments. Information from the judging connection.