Icon of a cow on a scale

4 tips for weighing livestock

Successfully weaning, breeding and identifying health issues in your animals requires you to have accurate weight measurements. However, there are several variables you need to consider when weighing your livestock, any of which can lead to incorrect readings and consequent profit losses. Here are four tips to get the most precise measurements possible when weighing your animals.  

 

Choose the best livestock scale for your needs

Livestock scales can be permanent or portable. A permanent scale is sturdy and reliable. Once you set it up, there’s not much more to do. However, you’ll need to transport your animals to the scale, which can be difficult and inefficient.

Additionally, if your permanent scale is electric you’ll need to ensure the weigh location is near a protected outlet with AC power. It’s important that you run as little cable as possible.

A portable livestock scale, on the other hand, gives you the flexibility of weighing your animals in multiple locations which is more efficient and can increase productivity.

 

Choose a weigh location that’s stable

Balance is essential for getting the most exact measurements. The animals will inevitably move around, and if your scale is on an uneven surface, all that motion may cause the equipment to shift. That can lead to inaccurate results. A scale on an uneven surface may also be dangerous for the animals as they enter and exit the scale.

 

Work efficiently to minimize stress

When being weighed, cattle can lose up to three percent of their body mass. Cattle shrink happens because animals get stressed when they’re transported. One way to help keep your cattle relaxed is to use a portable scale, as it will ensure you won’t have to move your animals around as much.

You can also decrease the stress associated with weighing by moving your livestock more efficiently. For example, you could place a table beside the scale to hold all your tagging and vaccination equipment. Preparing everything beforehand and keeping it in one place will decrease the amount of time your animals spend in the chute.

 

Check for obstructions and interference

Objects on your weigh bed such as rocks, sticks and manure can affect your measurements. Also, check that all the cables running from the load cells are free of kinks and aren’t snagging anything. Coil any extra cables and keep them away from animals and human traffic.

 

Livestock scales in Alberta

At Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd., we carry top-quality livestock scales. Whether you need to weigh cattle, horses, pigs or sheep, our scales can tolerate the most extreme weather conditions, without getting damaged. We also provide regular testing and recalibration services. Contact us today to learn more.

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