August 25th, 2021 | Updated on September 23rd, 2021
Cattle are a major investment, with just one bull coming at the cost of around $4,000 and the price tag of one bred cow at $2,200, according to LSU’s Ag Center. That makes proper livestock management essential and weighing your animals is one of the most important aspects.
While the pound is critical in the cattle industry with producers paid by the pound, commodities and feed bought by the pound, and the pound a major indicator of performance there are still many who estimate their animals’ weights rather than using a scale.
Benefits Of Having Cattle Scales
Having cattle scales is considered a critical part of the operation for optimizing productivity for any operation. There are many different types available, most of which have a platform, load bar, and indicator.
Some of the higher-end scales have internal memory which allows you to store the weight history of your animals that can be used for future reference.
If you choose a portable scale, you’ll be able to move it to any area on your property for easy monitoring. But no matter which you buy, these are just some of the benefits to keeping tabs on the weight of your cattle.
Detect Disease as Quickly as Possible
If you don’t know what your cattle weigh and one or more experience a sudden rapid weight loss, you could miss a potentially dangerous disease that has the ability to take out your entire herd.
The sooner diseases are detected and treated, the greater the likelihood that it won’t spread to your other animals, and the better the chances you’ll have of saving the one that’s ill. Weighing cattle is like an early warning system that’s a lot more accurate than traditional visual checks.
Proper Feeding Amounts
The data you’ll collect from weighing your cattle will also provide a greater understanding of the proper feeding amount. You’ll know when to reduce or increase their feed as necessary, potentially make changes to their diet, and/or ensure that they get the necessary nutrients.
Using the appropriate feed conversion rate helps to determine the proper food proportions when you’re looking to achieve specific growth rates as well.
When you regularly weigh your cattle, you’ll more easily be able to determine the best breed for your operation.
You’ll want breeds that constantly add weight for breeding as that ensures you’ll have healthier calves, equaling a higher return on investment.
The data collected over time can also be used for crossbreeding your healthiest animals. Livestock weighing can also lessen any impact of price volatility as it reduces waste and cost while maximizing output at the same time. You may also achieve price premiums with the ability to meet livestock buyer specifications.
Pick the Best Weaning Time
It’s not just your adult cattle that should be weighed, but all calves within your livestock too. You’ll want to weigh the young ones frequently in order to determine the best weaning time.
Making that decision will have a big impact on how well your calves will be integrated into the herd. Plus, this data will allow you to predict future growth by analyzing it on a performance graph.