Hair Shedding: New Production EPD

By Briley Richard | American Angus Association

As the weather starts to heat up leading into summer, it’s time to collect hair shedding scores! With early summer hair shedding being an indicator trait for heat tolerance and tolerance to fescue toxicosis, these records help predict environmental adaptability. Unsure how to evaluate? Find some helpful insights below about how to score and the upcoming EPD release.  


Quick Facts: 

  • Evaluated on a 1-5 visual appraisal scale.
  • 5 is a full winter coat and 1 is completely slick. 
  • Individual animals can be scored annually for hair shedding, beginning as early as the yearling age widow.  
  • Scoring window: April to June
  • Score when there is variability for hair shedding in one group.
  • Scores for one group need to be collected within a seven-day window.    


EPD Information: 

WHAT: The Hair Shedding (HS) EPD is expressed in units of hair shed score, with a lower EPD being more favorable indicating a sire should produce progeny who shed their winter coat earlier in the spring. 


WHY: Cattle that shed their winter coat earlier in the season are less stressed and therefore put less energy into thermoregulation. Energy that would have gone to regulating body temperature can instead be applied toward milk production and growth. 


WHEN: On May 27, 2022, the American Angus Association and Angus Genetics Inc. will officially release the production Hair Shedding EPD and it will be included in the weekly genetic evaluation.


HOW: Hair Shedding is a moderately heritable trait, 0.36. As for favorability, a lower EPD indicates earlier shedding.  



For a complete guide to hair shed scoring, click here. For more information about the Hair Shedding EPD, click here. For more information about the upcoming genetic evaluation update, click here. For further assistance with scoring or questions, call the Association at 816-383-5100.  

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