Club Calves
Home button Summer Months Button  1 Month Prior Button Show time button
Starting the first of June "cold room" season gets rolling. The cold room is an insulated, refrigerated room that the steers are in from about 5/6 a.m. to 8/9 p.m. (depending on the temperature and time of year.) Despite the fact that this tactic may seem unnecessary and some might say "crazy", it is quite necessary in areas of extreme heat such as New Mexico. This is so, because the refrigerated environment tricks the steer's body into putting on more hair in order to "keep warm for winter." Good hair is a major aspect of show calves. Although the judge is not judging which calf has the best/fluffiest/longest hair, a calf with more hair will look better than the same calf with less hair.
Every show family has different routines and tricks when it comes to their cattle and how to grow hair. My routine is busy but if done right and with consistency, results are always seen. Although the time differs from time to time depending on temperature and what time of year, I generally try to get my steers into the cold room before the sun is up that way they don't have to stand in the heat. After they are haltered I blow all the dirt and sand out of their hair with what it sort of a huge blow dryer for cattle (image 1). Proceeding blowing, I rinse their hair and insure that their hide is clean. In order the keep the hide clean, the steers should be washed with soap once a day (generally at night). Another huge aspect of hair growth is working the hide and getting the hair to grow one direction throughout, forward. To do so I use a steer comb and sort of brush to stimulate the hide and get the hair moving in all one direction. Each side of steer should be worked for anywhere from 10-15 minutes. At this time it is only early summer and the steers do not have much hair yet. So, they are put in the cold room wet and tied with their heads up for about 3 hours. After the 3 hours or after they are completely dry, their heads are tied down so they can lay down or stand up the rest of the day freely. Throughout the day about every hour or few hours the steers need to be checked on and manure cleaned out of the cold room.
The morning routine of the early summer generally takes more less than 45 minutes to an hour but the evening takes a little while longer. When the temperature gets low enough, usually around 7:30 or 8, I take the steers out of the cold room and blow them out again to get whatever dirt or cider out of their hair that acquired during the day. Then I wash them with soap and repeat the 15-20 minute brushing process. After this they may not be very wet due to not having much hair at this point but if they are, I then blow the water out of their hair with the same blower that is used to blow the dirt out. I may brush over them one more time, but then I turn them out and feed them. This time of year, the evening process takes around 1 hour to an hour and a half. And the next morning the process starts over again.
Steer blower
Steer Blow Dryer
washing the calf
Hair Comb
Comb for Hair
Hair brush
This brush is mainly used for scrubbing (when washing) also for working the hair.