Cattle in a field

Buying guide: livestock scales

A livestock or cattle scale is a necessary tool for most livestock operations. Accurate weighing information allows for careful control of feed and precise allocation of medicine. It also makes it easier to monitor cattle weight gain and hit production targets. Here’s how to choose the right cattle scale.

1. What are you weighing?

Depending on the animals you’re going to weigh, your scale will need different features. The size of the animals, how many of them you’ll need to weigh at once and whether you’ll have to secure them are all factors you should to take into consideration. 

2. Do you need a mobile scale?

Stationary scales will typically allow you to weigh more than one animal at a time, which is useful if you need to monitor group weights. However, this requires dedicating a large area of your operation to weighing. 

Alternatively, mobile scales operate on a variety of irregular surfaces and are more flexible. However, they may become insufficient if you need to weigh many animals. They’re also typically less durable than their stationary counterparts.

3. Does the scale need to be legal for trade?

If you’re going to use your scale to buy and sell livestock, it needs to be certified as legal for trade according to Measurement Canada specifications. These are available in single- and multi-animal versions, as well as in both mobile and stationary formats. 

4. How durable does it need to be?

Depending on where and how you use the scale, you may need to invest in a more durable model. This will depend on local climate as well as where the scale will be located and used. If it’s a stationary scale, you’ll need to make sure it’s built in such a way that it won’t be at risk of becoming damaged by anything in the vicinity. If you opt for a mobile scale, make sure it can handle your terrain and the use you plan to make of it. 

5. Do you need data management? 

Many scales are designed to integrate with harvest and production tracking software and can record important data that can be used to streamline operations down the line. Even if you don’t think you need these features now, it’s important to consider them, as they may become crucial when your operation grows.

Industrial scales in Alberta

Whether you need to rent, purchase or calibrate a cattle scale, consider visiting us at Accurate/Western Scale Co. LTD. We’re certified by Measurement Canada and offer pre-planned maintenance contracts. Be sure to contact us today to learn more about our products and services.