Weighing newborn calves

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Cormac

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What are you using for a scale and what is your technique for weighing? Looking for the easiest way to do the job properly.
 

S&S Farms

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We use a sling and hand scale ( hanson) I believe. I found a handle system that the scale fits in so i dont have to lift as high to get them off of the ground. I try to weigh within the first 24 hours, easier to catch. Weigh tag and tattoo just need a second person to read the scale.


Jeff
 

Alan

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This is the system I'll try this year, someone on these boards posted it on the same topic. I have 2 sections of pipe that screw together to make a 10 ft pipe (easier to carry), I ran a eye bolt through one end 2 feet or so down from the end. I'll hang the scale from the bolt, after shoving the other end into the ground and use the pipe for lifting leverage. "hog tie" the calf (also within the first 24 hours) hang the calf from the tie. Should be able to do whole thing by myself. I'll give shots and ear tag the calf while SHE is stilled tied.

Haven't found a real easy system for one guy to do by him/herself yet, but this sounds good.

Alan
 

dun

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I really cheat. For out of registered cows I just run them across the regular scales in the alleyway. Fr the commercial cows I use the hoof tape.
 

pdfangus

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Alan":wrfc5g0p said:
This is the system I'll try this year, someone on these boards posted it on the same topic. I have 2 sections of pipe that screw together to make a 10 ft pipe (easier to carry), I ran a eye bolt through one end 2 feet or so down from the end. I'll hang the scale from the bolt, after shoving the other end into the ground and use the pipe for lifting leverage. "hog tie" the calf (also within the first 24 hours) hang the calf from the tie. Should be able to do whole thing by myself. I'll give shots and ear tag the calf while SHE is stilled tied.

Haven't found a real easy system for one guy to do by him/herself yet, but this sounds good.

Alan

that was me.....

i been doing it that way for ten years.

my son is working on a new cradle that simply hooks under the calf belly and then he hangs it on a pole MOUNTED on the reciever to his hitch. HE SWEARS IT IS THE BEST METHOD HE HAS EVER TRIED.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I also use the 10' pole (wooden) with eye-bolt 2' down. But we use a sling under the calf's bellie. We use the normal cattle scales that go up to (I think) 200#. Scale has a hook on top & bottom. Hook scale onto eyebolt, put sling under calf & hook sling to bottom hook of scales & LIFT!
 

randiliana

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I just move the weigh bars from my large animal scale into the barn, put a smaller platform (piece of plywood) on it and weigh them that way. No lifting, just shove the calf on there, and it takes about 5 seconds to get a weight unless they are really jumping around. With the digital readout, it only takes a few seconds.

We were using a small beam scale, with a box built onto it. It worked well, but not nearly as quick as my new scale. Took time to move the weights around and was a lot more difficult with a moving calf.
 

pdfangus

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randiliana":24kislvc said:
I just move the weigh bars from my large animal scale into the barn, put a smaller platform (piece of plywood) on it and weigh them that way. No lifting, just shove the calf on there, and it takes about 5 seconds to get a weight unless they are really jumping around. With the digital readout, it only takes a few seconds.

We were using a small beam scale, with a box built onto it. It worked well, but not nearly as quick as my new scale. Took time to move the weights around and was a lot more difficult with a moving calf.


well this is cool if you are calving in or around a barn.

Having had a wreck or two doing this, I always calve out on good clean pasture. Lot less problems.
 

cowman30

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I run the cow and calf into the working pen and into the working chute. I separate the cow in the back part of the chute and run the calf down the alley way and onto my digital scales.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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pdfangus":3k098md3 said:
randiliana":3k098md3 said:
I just move the weigh bars from my large animal scale into the barn, put a smaller platform (piece of plywood) on it and weigh them that way. No lifting, just shove the calf on there, and it takes about 5 seconds to get a weight unless they are really jumping around. With the digital readout, it only takes a few seconds.

We were using a small beam scale, with a box built onto it. It worked well, but not nearly as quick as my new scale. Took time to move the weights around and was a lot more difficult with a moving calf.


well this is cool if you are calving in or around a barn.

Having had a wreck or two doing this, I always calve out on good clean pasture. Lot less problems.
In our neck of the woods, you better be calving in and around a barn. And there are absolutely no health issues if you keep things clean & rotate cattle out of area into their own cow/calf fields. All my cattle calve in a pen. Sure hate to say this (don't want to jinx us) but I can't remember the last newborn that got sick. Had one that was a few weeks old caught outdoors in a blizzard & got bogged down in deep snow & froze - floated him in bathtub for many hours & with TLC got him back to dam in couple of days ("Stinky" - some of you might remember him!). He NEVER got diarhea and/or lung issues. Weaned off a normal weight as his contemporaries.
 

pdfangus

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2r1mna26 said:
pdfangus":2r1mna26 said:
randiliana":2r1mna26 said:
I just move the weigh bars from my large animal scale into the barn, put a smaller platform (piece of plywood) on it and weigh them that way. No lifting, just shove the calf on there, and it takes about 5 seconds to get a weight unless they are really jumping around. With the digital readout, it only takes a few seconds.

We were using a small beam scale, with a box built onto it. It worked well, but not nearly as quick as my new scale. Took time to move the weights around and was a lot more difficult with a moving calf.


well this is cool if you are calving in or around a barn.

Having had a wreck or two doing this, I always calve out on good clean pasture. Lot less problems.
In our neck of the woods, you better be calving in and around a barn. And there are absolutely no health issues if you keep things clean & rotate cattle out of area into their own cow/calf fields. All my cattle calve in a pen. Sure hate to say this (don't want to jinx us) but I can't remember the last newborn that got sick. Had one that was a few weeks old caught outdoors in a blizzard & got bogged down in deep snow & froze - floated him in bathtub for many hours & with TLC got him back to dam in couple of days ("Stinky" - some of you might remember him!). He NEVER got diarhea and/or lung issues. Weaned off a normal weight as his contemporaries.

that is cool....
if you want to work that hard.....
me....
I am old and fat and lazy and want the cows to do the work.
 

randiliana

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pdfangus":3c2gwrt8 said:
well this is cool if you are calving in or around a barn.

Having had a wreck or two doing this, I always calve out on good clean pasture. Lot less problems.
In our neck of the woods, you better be calving in and around a barn. And there are absolutely no health issues if you keep things clean & rotate cattle out of area into their own cow/calf fields. All my cattle calve in a pen. Sure hate to say this (don't want to jinx us) but I can't remember the last newborn that got sick. Had one that was a few weeks old caught outdoors in a blizzard & got bogged down in deep snow & froze - floated him in bathtub for many hours & with TLC got him back to dam in couple of days ("Stinky" - some of you might remember him!). He NEVER got diarhea and/or lung issues. Weaned off a normal weight as his contemporaries.[/quote]

that is cool....
if you want to work that hard.....
me....
I am old and fat and lazy and want the cows to do the work.[/quote]

Well, you are welcome to do it your way. For us it is necessary to calve early when we do (March and April). Since the cows go to pasture about 2 hours away, it is rather important for us to have all the calves on the ground, and preferably a couple weeks old before they get sent up there. They usually are gone by the first week of May. We may run into a few health issues, but not enough to make me want to change the way we are doing things.
 

Cowdirt

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For those weighing with old fashion pull scales. You might want a set of scales that have what is called a "tattle tale" on them. The needle pushes the tattle tale down as the weight increases and then stays at the heaviest weight that is registered. It is reset at 0 before weighing again. Would prevent having to have someone to read the scale. Don't know exactly the impact of a wiggling calf on the tattle tale. Should still be more accurate than a weigh tape.
 

3waycross

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Cowdirt":6kgqad3z said:
For those weighing with old fashion pull scales. You might want a set of scales that have what is called a "tattle tale" on them. The needle pushes the tattle tale down as the weight increases and then stays at the heaviest weight that is registered. It is reset at 0 before weighing again. Would prevent having to have someone to read the scale. Don't know exactly the impact of a wiggling calf on the tattle tale. Should still be more accurate than a weigh tape.


Just bought one of those. I like it a lot. What you don't want to do with it tho is to bounce it much
 

Frankie

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Cormac":x8sk9tp7 said:
What are you using for a scale and what is your technique for weighing? Looking for the easiest way to do the job properly.

Since we AI everything, we know about when they'll calve and get them into a small pasture near the house several days before. If we see them born, we give the mommas time to clean them up and nurse them, but we have better luck catching the little guys within the first 12-24 hours. After that, they're less likely to be sleeping and much quicker on their feet. :lol: We have a wide strap that goes around the calf's belly, hook a hand scale to that and lift.
 

gberry

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pdfangus":1i3ljwb9 said:
Alan":1i3ljwb9 said:
This is the system I'll try this year, someone on these boards posted it on the same topic. I have 2 sections of pipe that screw together to make a 10 ft pipe (easier to carry), I ran a eye bolt through one end 2 feet or so down from the end. I'll hang the scale from the bolt, after shoving the other end into the ground and use the pipe for lifting leverage. "hog tie" the calf (also within the first 24 hours) hang the calf from the tie. Should be able to do whole thing by myself. I'll give shots and ear tag the calf while SHE is stilled tied.

Haven't found a real easy system for one guy to do by him/herself yet, but this sounds good.

Alan

that was me.....

i been doing it that way for ten years.

my son is working on a new cradle that simply hooks under the calf belly and then he hangs it on a pole MOUNTED on the reciever to his hitch. HE SWEARS IT IS THE BEST METHOD HE HAS EVER TRIED.

This video has a pretty neat weighing system about 3 1/2 minutes into it that I plan to try to duplicate this year.
http://www.24-7agtv.com/Joomla/index.ph ... 2&Itemid=1

*Edit* You have to click on the "think like a cow" link to get the video to load
 
A

Anonymous

Alan":2z3wpyw2 said:
This is the system I'll try this year, someone on these boards posted it on the same topic. I have 2 sections of pipe that screw together to make a 10 ft pipe (easier to carry), I ran a eye bolt through one end 2 feet or so down from the end. I'll hang the scale from the bolt, after shoving the other end into the ground and use the pipe for lifting leverage. "hog tie" the calf (also within the first 24 hours) hang the calf from the tie. Should be able to do whole thing by myself. I'll give shots and ear tag the calf while SHE is stilled tied.

Haven't found a real easy system for one guy to do by him/herself yet, but this sounds good.

Alan


That sounds WAY too difficult.

We have a 'harness' that is two looped belts, which go one front an back. Front goes around one leg and between the two front ones and over the head and neck, back loop goes around opposing back leg and between back legs and loops to support the rump (very hard to describe but trust me, simple!).
Then we have a hand scale with a 30cm bar on top so you can lift with both hands. Very simple to do by yourself.
All calves are weighed within 24hrs of birth.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Killala - the pole method is not difficult. We don't hog-tie them, we use a "basket" - just a wide canvas that goes under their whole bellie with rings to hook on scale. Same thing as you, basically, but we don't have to have the 'muscle" to actually hold them up in the air - we use the pole as leverage to lift. That way, calf is just dangling off scale & you can read easily. One person can do it & read scale. We generally always do it together because most calves are a bit lively (within 12 hours).
 

Willow Springs

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We calve on pasture and use a tripod. We also used it when we calved in the winter due to its portability. The spring scale hangs in the middle of the tripod and the calf is in a sling. Usually the calf just hangs there while I tag, weigh and de-horn (if needed). I can move it anywhere on the farm, including on the other side of the fence if the cow gets agitated.
 

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