4 Tips for Weighing Animals Using Livestock Scales
Measuring animals is one of the most important responsibilities of those in farm management. However, when it comes to weighing animals, there are a number of challenges that you might run into. If your cattle are stressed or nervous, or your horses are moving around a lot, it can be difficult to weigh them accurately using a conventional scale. Livestock scales make the process easier, allowing you to get an accurate and precise weight on cattle, horses, and other animals.
Whether you run a small livestock farm or a large-scale dairy farm, you will benefit from utilizing cattle weighing scales. Cattle scales are designed to help you get an accurate measurement of weight regardless of whether the animal is moving or anxious while on the scale. Below, we’ll give you our top four tips for getting the most out of your animal weighing scales.
1. Choose the right livestock scale.
The first step in getting an accurate weight for your animals is choosing the right cattle scale for your needs and environment. When looking at livestock scales, consider what kind of livestock you have, your location, and the type of setup that works for you as well as your management, usage, and weigh goals. Whether you are weighing to monitor weight gain or feed efficiency, your goals will determine what type of information you need from your weight display indicator.
You have the option of choosing a permanent livestock scale or a portable one. Permanent cattle scales are sturdy and reliable, but you need to be able to move the livestock to the setup in order to weigh the animals. On the other hand, portable scales are ideal for weighing livestock in multiple locations, as you are able to move the scale to different environments to improve efficiency and productivity.
If you choose to use an electronic scale, you’ll need to make sure you strategically place the equipment near a dry, safe power outlet, as this equipment requires AC power. For safe operation, you’ll want to make sure that wire lengths are at a minimum.
2. Place scale on a firm and stable surface.
Balance is an important part of the weighing process. For this reason, cattle scales and hog scales need to be placed on a firm and stable surface to ensure safety and accuracy in measurement. If your scales aren’t on a stable surface, then the equipment may move or shift during your weighing process, which can cause an inaccurate reading. This can also be dangerous for the animals as they move in and out of the equipment.
It’s important to note that the surface doesn’t have to be completely level. Livestock scales can be used on gravel surfaces and other uneven areas and still be read accurately. However, the surface needs to be firm enough to hold and balance the animals when they are being weighed.
3. Minimize stress and avoid livestock shrinking by working efficiently.
Cattle and other animals can often feel stressed and anxious when waiting to be weighed. Additionally, as you move your livestock to different locations, this can cause shrinking, or weight loss in the animals. Using portable cattle weighing scales can help you minimize shrinking to get a more accurate weight of your animals.
Another way to minimize shrinking and animal stress is by working more efficiently. We recommend keeping a side table next to the weighing chute so that all of the necessary equipment and accessories are close by, allowing you to work quickly and efficiently. This lowers the amount of time the animals need to spend on the scale and thus helps to reduce stress on them.
4. Check for any interference.
Animal weighing scales are sensitive to interference that can cause an inaccurate weight measurement. For this reason, you need to constantly check the scale for anything that might interfere with the weighing, such as obstructions like manure, large rocks, sticks, and other debris. Keeping these types of materials from touching the scale surface helps ensure that your weighing is as accurate as possible.
The load cells, which are located below the weighing platform, can also cause interference. Make sure that the cables running from these load cells are not twisted, tangled, or snagging on anything, as this can impact the accuracy of the reading. Instead, try coiling the load cell cables to keep them out of the way from both human traffic and animal reach.
Whether you’re looking for hog scales, cattle scales, or scales for other animals, FarmRanchStore.com has the livestock scales and weighing systems you need to get an accurate measurement. Check out our selection of animal weighing scales from Priefert, Powder River, WW Manufacturing, and Digi-Star.