Article by Rockwell Scales Inc.: Three Things to Look for in a Livestock Scale in Utah

Article by Rockwell Scales Inc.: Three Things to Look for in a Livestock Scale in Utah

Rockwell Scales Inc. (United States) - Livestock scales are important to monitor the health, growth and feeding of your cattle. Whether you own a major dairy operation or a small farm, it’s important that your scale be able to handle the job. Purchasing a scale doesn’t have to be a major ordeal, especially when you work with a reputable company like Rockwell Scales. Here’s what to look for in a livestock scale in Utah.

An appropriate setup:

When you’re working with livestock, you may need a portable or a permanent scale. Portable scales are a smart choice if you have livestock on several different properties. They’re battery operated, and usually come with heavy-duty handles and casters. This makes them easy to move so you can easily weigh your animals wherever you need to.

Permanent scales are usually outfitted with a squeeze chute and are bolted into the concrete. These are sturdier and more reliable overall. Permanent scales are powered by AC outlets, so make sure you choose a safe and dry place for installation.

The correct capacity:

The type of livestock you own will determine the capacity you need. Not only should you choose a scale that’s large enough to hold your livestock, but it also needs to support their full weight. For example, bulls need at least 4,000 pounds of capacity, while dairy cows and horses need 3,000. Beef cows usually weigh in around 2,000 pounds. Swine, llamas and alpacas need 1,000 pounds of capacity, while goats, sheep and poultry require 500 pounds or less.

Make sure you research your animal breeds and their weights before purchasing a scale. Breeds can vary drastically in size and weight. Always opt for a scale capacity that exceeds their average weight.

Data and features:

Finally, you’ll need to choose a livestock scale with the right data and features for your Utah livestock operation. Livestock scales are designed to account for agitated, moving animals, so you can get an accurate readout even when they’re dancing around.

Depending on the model you choose, your livestock scale may come with other functions. For example, some scales can sync with your RFID ear tags. This allows the scale to automatically weigh and record the specific animal’s weight, so you don’t have to manually input the data. That saves a lot of time for ranchers.

Your scale may also come with features that allow you to track customized data fields, like pregnancy status, breed, sex and vaccination records. Many scales integrate with your livestock management software, so you can track the data in real time.

Another great feature to look for is the hold function, which allows operators to freeze the weight and record it, even after the animal has stepped off the scale.

All of these features are optional—but they can save you a lot of time, money and effort in the long run.

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