Maximising carcase value when selling deadweight
WITH the majority of prime beef cattle and young bulls now being sold deadweight, more finishers are becoming attuned to the need to avoid out-of-spec penalties.
With the Beef Monitor, from Ritchie, average live weight gains (LWG) of finishing cattle are measured every time they drink water, reducing the labour needed to weigh them individually through a crush each week – or eliminate the guesswork if they are not weighed at all!
Using compatible ear tags, the Ritchie Beef Monitor records the weight and ear tag data every time the cattle walk across the unit to access water and sends this directly to your cloud account. The data can be read on your phone or desktop computer allowing progressive farmers to ensure that their cattle are at optimum weights when sent to the abattoir. Reducing the risk of receiving over-weight penalties, whilst ensuring the cattle are at their premium weight.
With animals visiting 12 or so times in a 24-hour period the readings are averaged for the day and provide a very accurate indication of weight. The system can recognise erroneous weights, like a beast with just a front leg on the weighing platform, and flags this up, as it will an animal which has lost a tag.
The tracking of LWG allows the management of cattle nutrition to speed up or slow down the growth to make sure that the cattle are ready when you need them to ensure that they are hitting abattoir spec with every animal. It can also be an indicator of a potential health problem if an individual animal stops putting on weight while the rest are still gaining.
Printed on Farming Scotland Magazine.