Alopecia in Cattle
A healthy coat for livestock is more than just a fashion statement
Hair loss (alopecia) is a common disorder among various livestock who depend on their coat for comfort, protection from the elements, and overall good health. This condition is a concern for any pet owner, but of particular concern for owners who show livestock in competition, or prepare them for sale.
Those who invest time and resources to show horses or livestock know that an entry with apparent patches of hair loss will not show as well in competitions.
Buyers and sellers of breeding or beef cattle know that patchy or significant hair loss will likely result in a reduced price.
Hair loss and market value
Cattle buyers don’t want to purchase sick animals. Hair loss may signal an inflammation of the hair follicle, but it could also indicate trauma, an immune disease, or endocrine system abnormalities. If the buyer is concerned about the potential of an underlying health condition, he/she may apply a discount to the price per head to allow for the risk of death loss.
Healthy cattle have healthy hair. Healthy hair is the product of hair follicles fed with adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals. If any of these ingredients for building a healthy coat are limited, the hair may become dull, off-colored, brittle, and the follicle more susceptible to alopecia.
Melatonin may stimulate hair growth and aid alopecia in cattle
A healthy coat in cattle is not merely a fashion statement. The same nutritional ingredients that support a healthy coat also supports efficient reproduction, immune function, and growth. Healthy hair is an indicator of good general health and a predictor of performance.
If you want your livestock to show well in competition or bring top dollar at a sale, the animals need to have a beautiful, healthy coat, free of bald patches. If hair loss is a problem among your animals, melatonin could help.