When increasing the profitability of a beef herd is the goal, producers must consider factors that will help them increase the number of animals they send to market while also increasing the size of each animal. One of the best tools beef producers can use when working to increase both the number of beef they produce and the carcass weight of each animal is a livestock scale system. 

If you have not yet installed a livestock scale system to use in managing your beef herd, here are some important reasons to consider doing so now. 

Customizing feed by animal weight

As your beef calves grow and develop, their need for both calories and nutritional elements can change dramatically. Weather, age, forage quality, and lactation length can also factor into how well each calf develops as they grow and what their nutritional needs will be. Having the ability to easily weigh each calf using on-site livestock scales allows beef producers to more easily make feeding adjustments to ensure that each animal receives the nourishment they need at each stage of their lives. 

Making breeding decisions

Another reason to invest in the purchase and installation of livestock scales is to make more informed decisions about breeding. While mature cows are typically bred to calve around the same time each year, beef producers can use heifer weights to help them determine when they are physically mature enough for their first breeding. While the exact figure can vary by breed, most beef producers can safely breed heifers for the first time when they have reached 65-70 percent of their expected adult body weight. Opting to choose heifer breeding times based on weight instead of age can increase the number of calves produced over the lifespan of the animal and their overall profitability for the producer. 

Monitoring herd health 

While frequent visual inspections of the herd is a wise management practice, doing so may not be enough to spot minute changes in animal weight that could indicate a developing health problem. In fact, some types of diseases and parasite infestations may not be easily noted during a visual inspection until the animal has lost hundreds of pounds. When beef producers opt to include regular scaling of each animal as part of their management routine, even small weight reductions can be noted so that the animal can receive any additional testing or treatment needed to resolve the issue. 

To learn more about the importance of utilizing livestock scales with your beef herd, contact a reputable agricultural equipment dealer who specializes in the sale and installation of quality livestock scale systems.