Calculating Beef Cattle Weight

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Well-known member
Dec 21, 2003
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Southeast Missouri
This was in a Tractor Supply ad in the mail today, thought some of you might be interested: Step 1: Measure the circumference (heart girth), from a point slightly behind the shoulder blade, then down over the foreribs and under the body, behind the elbow, in inches. Step 2: Measure the length of body from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump (pinbone), in inches. Step 3: Take the values obtained in Steps 1 and 2 and apply the following formula to calculate body weight: Heart girth x heart girth x body length divided by 300 = weight in pounds. Example of a beef animal: If the heart girth is 76 inches and the body length is 66 inches, 76 x76 x 66 = 381,216, divided by 300 = 1250 pounds.
WORANCH":10xblq3l said:
JUST BUY A SCALE....................

We have a stationary scale at our place but not on our leased land. For some operations a scale is not a worthwhile investment. I posted the formula because there have been several postings in the past asking about weight tapes and other ways to better estimate cattle weights than by just guessing. Most cattlemen and women are fairly good at estimating weights, but for the newcomers, it helps to have something to go by.
Now that's a pretty cool formula!

Seems to be pretty accurate too.
I butchered my 18 month old Angus freemartin on Saturday. After having fasted her for 24 hours, I weighed her with the "fat cattle" side of the tape and then weighed her by the formula. Tape said that she weighed 895 lbs, the formula put her at 942 lbs. And really I'm more likely to believe the formula since it takes into account the length of body.

This was a salebarn calf, bought with umblical cord still wet, and weighing no more than 30 lbs (I could carry her under one arm).
I was quite surprised that she weighed as much as she did, I had guessed her at no more than 800 lbs by her appearance.

And I'm always accused of being morbid for examining the organs of the animals that I raise and butcher, but what can I say, I raise rabbits and with them it's the only way to find some diseases. This heifer was on a very hot diet for the last few weeks, so I wanted to examine her liver and digestive tract for signs of problems with the feed. And, since she had the external signs of being a freemartin, and only cycled about every 3 months, I just had to check out her reproductive organs and see how normal or abnormal they were.
Everything appeared completely normal, except the ovaries. One ovary was a dark, shrivelled little thing (think raisin), the other was larger than normal and had several corpus luteum as well as several developing eggs.
Quite interesting, I must say -- but a much bigger job than I had anticipated. The largest I had butchered up to this point weighed 500 lbs, and there is a HUGE difference in the amount of work required to gut the beast.

Ann B
Thanks Mike for the formula - can't wait to try it - we have scales at two locations for our cattle - have a couple pretty tame cows that will let me try the formula.

By the way, how are you and your wife doing? Have continued to keep your family in our prayers. :)
To klasqh, everything is going OK. I still have to have more tests ran for my irregular heartbeat but at least there was no blockage! Wife is doing much better now that she is no longer dehydrated. We've been better but are thankful we're not worse! We have 2 grandsons and got our first granddaughter on Dec. 23 and that certainly helped us to feel better! Thanks for asking and we appreciate your prayers - we can always use them!

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