Live Stock Scales A Useful Tool

By: Prashanthi R

Today, leading livestock producers have identified that Livestock weight is an indispensable factor for successful farm management. Cattle, dogs, sheep, goats, and pigs are a few of the animals that need to be weighed in livestock management. Competent and dependable livestock scales provide a solution to effective ranch management.

A capable and reliable scale needs to cater different aspects of livestock management. An effective livestock management measures feed conversion by monitoring weight gain over time to maximize yield. Monitoring animal health, confirming animal weights prior to breeding, determining weaning weights, selecting animals by weight for sale and slaughter, evaluating breeding performance for genetic selection are some other features of an efficient management.

A direct interface between electronic ear tag readers and the weight scales provides a significant opportunity to improve farm and ranch management practice. It helps in preventing incomplete and inaccurate records of animal number and weight information. Automatic ear tag scanning and hands free weighing of animals reduce labor requirements at the weighing site. Automated sorting systems result in complete hands free animal handling in the yards.

An ideal livestock scale is one which aids in evaluating these components. Livestock scales allow owners and farmers an accurate way to weigh their livestock under multiple conditions without constraints. It basically consists of indicators, load bars, platforms or the mounting flats and a few accessories. The indicator is the LCD display, displaying the weight of animals in lbs or kgs. The platform is the base on which the animals are loaded. The load bars are generally present below the platforms which are used to sense the weight. Load bar cables connect the platform / load bar to the indicators. These scales deliver strength and durability, no matter what may be the weight of large, hefty animals.

Livestock scales are common among ranchers, farmers and veterinarians who all use the scale to meet a variety of requirements. They are also used by research farms and universities. Livestock scales are also used to weigh grain that can be used to measure the harvest and prepare for sales. Animals are weighed with such accuracy that even accountants would be in awe of these scales.

A typical scale is stable even against motion. If an animal squirm on the scale, the scale is designed in such a way that the accuracy is seen against the shifting motions and squirming of livestock. This feature also aids the veterinarians who work with animals out of their element without the presence of the owner. The scales calculate results up to one-tenth of a pound.

Portable livestock scales facilitate multiple weighing locations when the scale has to be taken to special job sites. Indicators are mounted on the wall or desk for convenient viewing. A portable scale needs to endure the weight of large animals and still be effective for easy travel. General purpose scales made up of stainless steel is used in tough environments or wash-down applications.

Some of the key features of an effective livestock scale require a robust frame, shock resistant, water-resistant and portability. Easy to read LCD display, weights in both lbs and kgs, adaptability to different platform sizes, inclusion of non slip rubber mat, ability to re-calibrate in the field at any time are few of the other features of an ideal livestock scale.