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weigh tapes

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townfarmer

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I'm considering getting a weigh tape to measure growth rates in our cattle. I'd love a proper set of scales but with only 10 cows it doesn't seem like it would be money well spent. Has anyone had success with them? To be honest I'm a little sceptical of their accuracy with all the varying lengths and muscling between breeds. Do people think they're a gimmick or a usefull tool? Appreciate some help.

Andrew
 

dun

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They're a semi-useful tool. As long as the same person is using them each time they will at least give you an idea if they are gaining or losing.
 

Workinonit Farm

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dun":qn6tmsy2 said:
they will at least give you an idea if they are gaining or losing.

While I don't think they can give an 'exact' weight, they do give you a fairly decent approximation. Weight tapes are used where I work for the newborns, then when the calves are worked for the first time (and subsequent times) they use the portable scales.

Katherine
 

tom4018

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We use the weigh tapes quite often. Sometimes when we sell calves I will run them all thru the chute and compare that wight to what they are at the sale barn. With experience you can judge their condition and be pretty close, sometimes we are right on them and then other times miss them by 50 pounds.
 

Aaron

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We weighed hundreds of finished steers in 4-H for years, with a weight tape, and then right after with a scale, to do a comparison. Basically a common difference of about 20 pounds. The most I ever saw was about 50 pounds off. :cowboy:
 

KNERSIE

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I use a weight tape very often for the everyday weights like weighing heifers before breeding season, weighing a growthy calf out of curiosity, etc but use proper scales for the official weights like WW and YW. The one I use is very accurate ON MY TYPE OF CATTLE, typically very close to the actual weight.

As long as your cattle don't vary enormously in type the tape will make the same "mistake" every time and would still be alot more usefull than guessing.
 

townfarmer

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Thanks very much everyone for sharing your experiences. It sounds like the tape if used consistantly can provide a reasonably accurate trend of weight gain or loss. I do however still fantasize about owning a set of cattle scales.

Andrew
 

dun

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townfarmer":v52jnief said:
Thanks very much everyone for sharing your experiences. It sounds like the tape if used consistantly can provide a reasonably accurate trend of weight gain or loss. I do however still fantasize about owning a set of cattle scales.

Andrew

You would be surprised at how much you actually will use scales once you get them. Instead of just weighing at birth and weaning, now any time they go through the chute for anything we take weights.
 

Durham Reds

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We used a weigh tape along with a hanging scale to check accuracy a few years ago. If the tape had been more consistant, I would have stayed with that for convenience sake in collecting BW's. We found there was too much discrepancy between the two. We just rely on scales now. If you hunt around a little, you can usually find an older balance beam scale priced very reasonably for taking WW's and YW's. We upgraded to an electronic scale from B & B scales we found on Ebay. After 2 years, we are still satisfied and it was 1/3 the cost of most. Hope this helps! You are to be applauded for caring enough to collect data. This is one of the most important things you can do to improve your herd no matter the size.
 

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