While some farmers and ranchers might think simply looking at their livestock and estimating their weights is accurate enough for knowing how much to feed them or how much of a dosage to provide when delivering drugs like antibiotics, the reality is, a guess is rarely accurate.
A Planet Money poll reported by NPR revealed that those visual guesses were off by 68 pounds on average and even those who thought of themselves as cattle experts were off by an astounding 83 pounds. By using livestock scales, that guesswork is removed, ensuring accurate weights for much better decision making that results in a more profitable operation that can meet goals for growth.
Of course, effective cattle weighing calls for having the right scales. You want something like Tru Test Scales that was designed specifically for animals that are likely to move around while being weighed. Being weatherproof ensures they can be weighed under any conditions and without the need for electricity, rather a long-lasting rechargeable battery. Having scales that can work with software for recordkeeping purposes is important too. You’ll need to be able to collect all of that weight data in order to use it to make the most informed decisions, like these.
Better Breeding Decisions
Breeding decisions must be made based on the health of your herd. When you accurately weigh your animals, you’ll easily be able to identify the optimal time to breed which can help prevent potential complications in the future. Gathering the most accurate data means more informed decisions that will guarantee you have healthier calves in the herd.
Maintaining the health of your animals is one of the biggest challenges of any livestock ranch or farm. The task is much easier when you know their accurate weights by having livestock scales as they aid in monitoring their health. They can help detect sudden weight loss which could indicate a disease, allowing you to treat it before it spreads to your other animals. When poor health isn’t identified quickly, it can negatively impact many aspects, including cattle that take longer to reach growth targets, loss of livestock due to fatal illness, and a hit to your feed budget.
Accurate Treatment Dosages
As mentioned, proper dosage of treatments is a key part of livestock management. Having accurate weights will ensure you deliver the correct amount of everything from antibiotics and parasite-control products to vaccines. The treatment is much more likely to work and you’ll potentially save money by preventing over-dosing too. Using too much means wasting costly treatments and it could even harm the animal. But if you use too little, the treatment may be ineffective, also resulting in poor health that could result in livestock loss or taking longer to achieve growth goals.
Over the long-term, both over- and under-dosing can lead to treatment resistance that can have dramatic negative impacts on productivity.
Measuring Feed Consumption
With the proper monitoring of your animals’ weight gain, you’ll be able to determine the correct feed conversion rates. That helps to ensure you’re giving them the right feed portions, avoiding the possibility that you’re under- of over-feeding them.