Britt, our Weigh It Up lead shares what she has been seeing on farms lately, and shares the benefit of regular weighing.
Calves are the future of every herd, achieving liveweight gains and maintaining monthly targets are essential. Focusing on this stage can help your animals become good milk producers and maximise lifetime productivity when they finally enter the milking shed.
This is where Weigh It Up comes in; weighing monthly with Weigh It Up gives farmers the benefit of gathering all the information possible. This includes individual and mob weights and daily weight gains. This can all be done at the same time as animal health treatments like drenching, copper bulleting, injecting etc. No point yarding the animals twice right? We think the same.
All weights can be uploaded to MINDA directly, a summary email is sent with results and MINDA graphs showing where the calves are sitting on the target line and the percentage of animals in the ideal or above weight range.
Currently, Weigh It Up is seeing the majority of calves close to target or above target - which is great to see. There were some beautiful calves averaging 182kg mid-February, the best would be growing 1kg a day. Most mobs of calves are sitting between 600-700g a day which is a good marker to be sitting at going into the colder months.
There are so many factors that contribute to weights and gains. The lowest average daily gain was 370g. It's helpful to know (and not surprising) that the lighter daily gains are from calves recently moved to a grazing property, so stress from transport or their new environment/diet is contributing to the low number. Regular weighing and reporting helps the owners and graziers get engaged with their youngstock, helping them review what worked well and what didn’t. It’s no problem to draft the lowest daily gain calves, or just the lightest, to form a mob for preferential treatment.
A highlight so far this season was weighing some big Charolais (in February too). These guys were huge! The bull weighed 950kg and one of its bull calves was over 300kg.
It has been such a great time getting to know and growing relationships with our clients. We believe the data we can provide to you (examples below) can really be an asset in setting your youngstock up for success. If you have any questions about the Weigh It Up service we offer please contact your closest clinic.
- Brittany Buchanan