There are numerous challenges when it comes to weighing animals. They may move about a lot or get nervous, agitated or anxious making it very difficult to weigh them accurately using the standard or conventional scales. This is where livestock scales come in handy. They weigh the animals with high accuracy and precision while overcoming the usual challenges.
They are designed with weight average and have options that allow you to make sure that accurate measurement is obtained regardless of whether the animal was restless while on the machine or it was patient.
5 Tips to Keep in Mind
Choosing the right livestock scale
The first step would be to identify your needs and determine what exactly you need from the livestock scales. Do you want to track the growth of the livestock by accessing the amount of feed provided to them and their weight gain or do you want to maximize your profits? There is no right or wrong way to choose the livestock scales. Your purchase decision must be based on your management goals, usage, kind of livestock you have, weighing goals, location and type of setup. Once you cross out all the questions, you can determine which scale would be the best choice for you.
- Determining Weighing Setup
You can either choose between a permanent livestock scale or portable ones for weighing the livestock. A permanent scale weighing system is quite sturdy and reliable, and the load bars would be encased in concrete for safety. You will have to move the livestock near the setup in order to weigh them.
On the other hand, portable scales would be ideal for weighing livestock at multiple locations. You can move the scale to different environments, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.
If you use electronic scales that require AC power, then ensure that you place them strategically with an access to a dry and safe power outlet. The wire lengths should be minimum for safety reasons.
- Use a Stable Weighing Surface
Balance is extremely essential while weighing. You must have a stable surface while weighing the livestock. If the surface is unstable, it will cause weighing inaccuracies and it will be dangerous for the livestock moving in and out of the scales. There is no need to level and flat the surface totally but ensure that it is firm enough to hold and balance the livestock when they are being weighed.
- Check for Interferences
Weighing scales are sensitive to interferences and cattle scales are no exception. You must keep the weighing platform free of obstructions like rocks, sticks and livestock manure as they will cause false readings on the scale.
The load cells are situated below the weighing platform, so ensure that the cables running out of them are free of snags, twists or possible tangling with operating personnel or livestock. If there are any coiled cables, keep them out of reach to prevent accidental tangling and resulting discrepancies in the livestock scale readings.
- Minimize Stress and Livestock Shrinking
Moving your livestock through different locations causes them to stress and leads to a phenomenon known as ‘shrinking’. This term refers to a weight loss in animals. You can minimize this problem by using portable scales. Moreover, it will minimize losses as well.
You can keep a side table with all the necessary apparatus and accessories near the weighing chute to further lower the stress for animals as the amount of time they would need to spend on the scale platform would be drastically reduced.
Evaluating these tips before weighing and measuring livestock will help minimize chute time. Additionally, you can collect accurate date which you can implement to improve efficiencies.
Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.