3 reasons why weighing your cattle is the most important thing you can do this Autumn

Posted by James Wright on October 7, 2020
Man weighing cow in crush using Breedr

With straw at a premium and many farms being tight on forage working out how many cattle you can keep will give you a head start. But it’s when you start understanding which of your cattle will provide the highest returns for your Winter investment that will give you the real edge come the Spring.

Here are 3 top reasons why weighing offers certainty for modern farmers:

1. Forecast when your animals will be ready for sale

The more regularly you add weight data, the more accurately you can forecast the growth of your animals. Breedr’s predictive growth tools shows you the performance of your animals relative to their breed, age and sex. This allows you to see in advance when each animal will hit their target weights.

Cattle predictive growth chart showing the high and low performers within your beef herd.

Breedr screenshot – Animal predictive chart shows the predictive growth at an individual animal level, allows you to easily identify the high and low performers.

By knowing when you have cattle finishing this Winter you are better able to plan your housing situation and the amount of forage you need to keep back for later in the year. If you know you’ll be short you might be wise to consider selling stores now to concentrate your supplies on your best performers.

Graphs showing which animals on the farm will reach target weight each week for the coming months

Farm Forecast report gives you the control to see at a farm level when you will have animals fit your specified target weight.

2. Identify your poor performers to maintain your margins

This is gearing up to be a potentially expensive Winter so you only want to invest in the animals that will give you a positive return come the Spring.

Once you’ve completed two or more weigh sessions using Breedr (or uploaded past weight data) the app will give you an accurate understanding of each animal’s DLWG (daily live weight gain), and if their growth rate is increasing or decreasing. 

If you’ve got EID in your cattle you can weigh an animal using Breedr’s Crush Mode in 10 seconds hands free, allowing you to focus on analysing and improving each individual animal’s performance.

Cattle weigh scale with weight shown on Breedr app, syncing via bluetooth from the Tru-Test weigh scale

By removing your bottom performing animals and leaving only the top performers you will be in a much stronger position. This reserves your precious forage and straw stocks for the cattle that will convert it best into profits for you to recoup in the Spring.

Diagram showing the functions of Breedr's Crush Mode tool

Breedr Crush Mode screen shows you in real-time at the weigh-scale how each animal is performing so you can make the right decision fast.

3. Perfect your transitions for optimum growth

By regularly weighing you can see patterns in your animal growth. You’ll start to notice when animals require new elements of nutrition. By analysing your animal growth you might also find that there are yearly patterns.

One of our users found that the growth rates on his calves took a hammering when he weaned and housed in the same week. Since switching to a new system of weaning 2 weeks after housing he has halved the impact on growth rates for no additional work.

Cow standing in field in Autumn

At Breedr we’re #BackingBritishFarmers to make right decisions this Autumn using our free productivity app, to help ensure a profitable and productive Winter housing season. 

Find out more about weighing the easy way with our free Crush Mode tool in the Breedr app, or why not sign-up to our weekly webinar series every Thursday at 8pm.

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