How to Weigh Your Cattle Properly

The weight of your cattle can tell you a lot of things. It can tell you the market value of an animal, how healthy it is in relation to its age, how much medicine it needs when, the appropriate weaning time for an animal in adolescence, and much, much more.

With all this in mind, it's hard to overstate the importance of weighing your livestock properly. Want to make sure the cattle weights you record are as accurate as possible? Follow the steps below.

Choose the Right Scale

There's a tool for every job, and the right tool when it comes to weighing your livestock is the cattle scale. But what kind? Different cattle scales exist for different kinds of cattle, as well as different cattle ranchers with different needs, goals, and facilities.

First, decide if you prefer using a traditional or electronic scale. Electronic scales are easier to read and more precise, but they also need to be placed near a consistent, safe, dry AC power source. They also may require repairs to their electrical repairs. Traditional scales, meanwhile, aren't quite as accurate, but they can be placed anywhere and require less maintenance.

Next, consider whether you prefer a stationary or portable. Stationary scales tend to be sturdier and more reliable, but once placed they're hard to move. Stationary scales are preferable for determining the group weight of a herd. Portable scales, however, can be taken to other locations, making them a more flexible option if your livestock operation involves a lot of travel.

Keep Your Animal Calm

When being weighed, it's not uncommon for cattle to experience stress and fear. This can be a problem not just for them but for you, as it can make animals less cooperative and generally interfere with the weighing process. Stressed animals can even experience “shrinking,” or sudden, unnecessary weight loss, which renders weighing them at all almost totally moot.

In order to ensure things go smoothly, it's imperative that cattle ranchers make an effort to keep their livestock calm. That means avoiding yelling and other loud noises as much as possible, and also not rushing them on and off the scale.

This might sound like something that will slow down the entire process, but you can counterbalance this by being well-organized and keeping all important tools nearby. Reducing the amount of time an animal is on the scale or waiting to climb onto the scale can go a long way towards calming their nerves.

Check for Interference

Raising cattle is dirty, sometimes chaotic work. As such, it's not uncommon for cattle scales to end up littered with such odds and ends as dirt, rocks, sticks, manure, ropes, cables, and other debris. These scales are extremely sensitive, however, meaning that even small obstructions can seriously hamper your ability to achieve an accurate weight reading.

Avoid this problem by keeping your cattle scale as clean as you can during the weighing process. That means making sure it is free from debris both before and after you weigh your animals, while also staying cognizant of any obstructions that may accumulate as the day goes on. Taking time to inspect the scale between animals takes only a minute of mindfulness, but it can save you a lot of work later.

When using a portable scale, it's a good idea to think about where you set it up in order to avoid interference from nearby equipment or activities. Try to find a reasonably private area where you can go about your work without interruption from other livestock operations.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.