It is a little late in the season and if you haven’t employing these methods already it is going to be tough to see noticeable results in this heat, but I like to post this topic once a year on the frontpage.

By Show Time King

http://www.steerplanet.com/bb/index.php?topic=14591.0

Ok When wanting to grow hair there are four key fundamentals that one must know.

1. Genetics– In order to grow hair in the first place you must have the proper genetics and have a breed of cattle that is known to grow hair. If you own a beef master and are expecting to grow 2 inches of hair forget about it.

2. Temperature– Cold weather causes hair growth, it’s a natural instinct for cattle to want to grow hair to protect themselves and keep warm.

3. Daylight– The last key is Daylight, many people do not know that daylight is actually one of the biggest factors in hair growth in cattle. Ever wonder why cattle up north grow more hair than cattle in the south? It because days become shorter up north than down south, hence less DAYLIGHT!

4. Daily Hair Care– A good daily hair care routine is needed to help stimulate hair growth and produce a well trained coat that does as you want it to.

These four keys can unlock the true potential to your animals hair growth. Below I’ve listed some tips and tricks to getting the best possible hair coat on your animal.

First thing’s first, when selecting your animal note what breed they are and find out what type of hair growth there known for and how well they deal with your climate. Find out what type of hair the dam and sire had and make a spot on assessment of what type of hair the calve has, Is it long, short, fuzzy? Does it “pop” or lay “flat”? By finding out this information you can make a decision on how well this animal will grow hair and keep it.

Temperature- Really its pretty simple, animals grow hair in the winter to protect themselves from the environment. On the other hand people need to realize that keeping an animal cool in humid weather is a MUST to assure good hair growth and to be able to keep it. This sometimes requires the use of fans or misters along with a good daily hair care routine.

Daylight, the amount of daylight that reflects through the eyes of cattle can cause a change in hair growth. In the north when fall begins days get shorter and a cattle’s eye sense less daylight and causes there body to release melatonin which triggers hair growth. When melatonin is released it is basically telling the animal winter is coming GROW HAIR!!! So what people down south need to realize is that if we can keep are animals in the shade and out of the direct sunlight then we can in fact produce better hair growth.

Last is daily hair care. You can make all the right decisions mentioned above by finding the right genetics, keeping your animal cool and under fans and even keep him in the shade 24/7 but if you don’t have a solid daily hair care routine then no matter how hard you try your never going to reach that calves true potential. A daily routine normally consists of rinsing and brushing out the calve every night and if possible blowing them dry to train the hair and stimulate the hair follicles. If you can not blow them completely dry every night you need to at least rinse them and brush the hair before letting out for the night. See my Daily Hair care routine along with the picture diagrams on the next page.

Daily Hair Care

A solid Daily routine is a must in order to grow hair and present your project how you want them to be presented. Below is some information on what a daily routine should consist of as well as I a diagram to give you a better understanding.

1. You should aim to work with your animal every night to achieve maximum results but in some cases if you can not rinse your animal every night you should at least work with them 3-5 times a week. Make a note that you should only use soap on your calve once a week as this tends to dry out the hair if used multiple times a week.

Below is a diagram that you will need to use from blowing your calve out to rinsing and brushing them. By following this pattern not only will you help stimulate hair growth but you will train the hair to go where you want it.

To begin you should first pull your calve out of there pen and blow them out and make sure there’s no dirt or dust in there hair.

Second you should begin rinsing your calve from the rear forward and follow the diagram rinsing the hair forward towards the neck of the animal. Do not pay attention to the leg pattern at this time just focus on rinsing your calve for at least 5-10 minutes per side and making sure the hair is going forward.

After you have completed rinsing your calve you need to squeegee the excess water off and grab your rice root brush. Continue to follow the pattern shown. Make note now of the leg pattern, you should “split” the leg hair in half brushing the hair forward on the front half and backwards on the back halve. Do this to both the inside and outside leg.

Last you should begin to blow your calve out. Make sure to get your calve completely dry by getting its under belly and the insides of its legs and brisket. Follow the pattern by continuing to blow the hair forward and at a 45 degree angle. When you get to the legs get the nozzle of the blower right up to the bone and blow the leg hair STRAIGHT up, this will cause the leg hair to bloom outwards which is what we want it to do when we fit the leg.