Ragged Jacket - Approximately 21 days

Shortly after weaning, the pup's white coat becomes loose and begins to fall out, revealing the short, dark spotted juvenile coat underneath.  The name "ragged jacket" is derived from the coat's "raggedy" appearance.  This stage lasts a week or more. With the loss of its insulative white pelt, a ragged jacket must rely on the thick blubber layer it has built up in the preceding weeks for warmth.

Beater - Approximately 25 days to 1 year

Once the white coat is completely moulted, exposing the short, black-spotted, silvery grey pelt underneath, the animal is called a "beater".  Beaters have poorly developed swimming skills, and the name refers to the action of these young seals as they "beat" the surface of the water during their first attempts at swimming and diving.  Until they learn to swim, beaters are unable to feed, and must live on the energy stores accumulated during the nursing period. Once they enter the water, beaters are seen scattered along the ice edge of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Most beaters remain on the ice until it breaks up or is carried away.  They follow the receding ice northward, moving from one pan of ice to another.