Hair Shed How-To Guide

By Briley Richard | American Angus Association

Sunny days and warm weather creep up on the horizon. Soon, lush forages will adorn pastures across the country, and particularly in the Fescue Belt region of the United States. 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 when and how to score.  

When to Score: 

  • Scoring window: April to June
  • Animals can be scored annually, beginning as early as the yearling age window
  • Score when there is variability for hair shedding in the group
  • Scores for one group need to be collected within a seven-day window and by one person for consistency

How to Score: 

  • Visually on a 1 to 5 scale
  • Animals typically shed from front to back, top to bottom
    • 1 = 100% shed, no winter hair coat remaining 
    • 2 = 75% shed, winter hair only on belly and flank
    • 3 = 50% shed, shed around head, further down the brisket and along topline
    • 4 = 25% shed, winter hair coat lost around head and neck
    • 5 = 0% shed, full winter hair coat
Looking for a quick, on-the-go tutorial for hair shed scores? Our new How-To: Hair Shedding Scores video will walk through each score and provide visuals to help you! If a printable guide would be more useful, click here. For further assistance with scoring or questions, call the Association at 816-383-5100.
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