Presentation is crucial for show cattle, because potential cattle buyers like to know they're buying healthy livestock. Buyers look to condition of hair as the first sign of cattle health. Cattle hair growth depends heavily on genetics, and usually takes time. However, there are a few steps cattle owners can take to have their livestock's coat in top-notch condition before shows without the aid of shampoos or conditioners. With the proper nutrition, environmental conditions, and grooming regimen, you can grow cattle hair quickly, and prepare your animal for it's next important show.
Feed your cattle a certified calf feed rotation around 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily. Growing cattle hair quickly starts with nutrition. Include liquid molasses in your cattle's feed mixtures. The sulphur content in molasses prevents coat dullness and hair loss. Avoid an all-corn diet, because corn hinders cattle hair growth.
Protect your cattle from overexposure to sunlight, heat and dust. Natural elements wreak havoc on cattle hair. Exercise your cattle during the evening when the sun, temperature, and wind have gone down to achieve optimal growth. Prevent your cattle from lying in mud or manure to prevent mites from attaching to the hair, causing patches of hair loss.
Treat your cattle's hair like human hair, minus shampoos and conditioners. Handle your cattle's hair with care, and rinse your cattle daily with cold water to smooth the hair follicles.
Brush and blow-dry cattle hair after each daily rinse. Cattle hair requires stimulation for growth, and brushing and blow-drying provide adequate stimulation without causing harm. Brush and blow-dry cattle hair in a forward motion to remove curls and train the hair, says cattle expert Kirk Stierwalt. To prevent skin irritation and sudden hair loss, never use a comb to groom cattle hair.
Keep your cattle's bedding area clean, and use materials like wood chips instead of sand as a bedding material to keep debris from collecting in the hair during rest.
Shave your cattle's hair three to six months before a show to trim off damaged hair and allow a fresh coat to grow.
Tips and warnings
- Shave your cattle's hair three to six months before a show to trim off damaged hair and allow a fresh coat to grow.