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How do you figure out your adult goats’ weight

  • I have a livestock scale

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • Tape measure

    Votes: 5 45.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 18.2%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When my goats were younger I could lift them up and stand on the scale with them. When they were 1 and 1/2 years old I couldn’t or didn’t want to do lift them up anymore. I used the tape measure and did the math. I lifted one up on the scale, and the tape measure weight number and scale weight number differed by about 10 pounds.
How do you all figure out your goats’ weight?
 

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Weight tapes give a good ballpark weight for most goats, but you have to kind of play with it to figure out how tight to hold your tape for the most accurate reading. I used to hold kids on the bathroom scale and then weigh them with the tape and see how tight I needed to make it in order to get the right weight. Turns out I was usually holding the weight tape too loose so I would be about 10 lbs. off. Once they get big I check them once a year at the NAPgA Rendezvous where they always bring a livestock or hay bale scale for our goats. Turns out my weight tape measurements are holding accurate for my big goats as well as my little ones. It just takes practice. For big goats, it's not terribly important to be super accurate if you're measuring for medications and things. If you're within 10-15 lbs. it will be ok. You're not going to over or under-dose if your weight estimate is a little off.
 

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I also recommend the Smithco scale! Love it.
I had one from A & A but the scale head was constantly failing the A & A has horrible customer service.


The tapes are so unreliable. I would never trust a tape weight when trying to deworm or use antibiotics.
 

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I also recommend the Smithco scale! Love it.
I had one from A & A but the scale head was constantly failing the A & A has horrible customer service.

The tapes are so unreliable. I would never trust a tape weight when trying to deworm or use antibiotics.
That's terrible! I absolutely love A and A. We bought the scale kit and they were wonderful about helping us getting a large cattle scale made up and programmed just right. I bought the smaller livestock scale and the goats ended up chewing the cord and taking off with the screen part (to this day no clue where they stashed it!) and when I got a new one they were super helpful and friendly. The only complaint I could say I might have was they either didn't put a few bolts in the package or they were loose and when UPS slung it over my gate and the box ripped they fell out. But I just went to the hardware store and picked 2 up. This is my scale and I love it
Wood Composite material Gas Landscape Slope

Honestly though the frame part, one could make something else for a fraction of the price, I was just being lazy so got the whole thing instead of just the platform
 

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Hmm... I must be the one person who has the magic weight tape touch because every time I've weighed with a tape in the last few years it's been within a couple of pounds of the scale weight. Except on my pack wethers of course. The weight tape doesn't go over 195 lbs. so with them I just have to guess and I must say, my guesses are usually pretty spot-on these days. Maybe that's the magic of the weight tape... eyeball the goat and if you're really good at guessing weights anyway then all you have to do is tighten it to the place where it tells you what you already know. ;)
 

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Ok, I'm curious if anyone has ever used this formula for goat weights http://www.infovets.com/books/smrm/c/c098.htm
It's heart girth (in inches) x heart girth x number of inches from point of shoulder to pinbone ÷ 300 = goat's weight. It struck me as more accurate than JUST measuring heart girth, and gave me weights that were closer to what I felt my goats actually weigh (the ones too heavy to lift & stand on a bathroom scale). But I don't have a livestock scale to check accuracy. The things I could see throwing the equation off would be a very full rumen or a pregnant belly making the measurement from shoulder to pinbone larger than it would ordinarily be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, I'm curious if anyone has ever used this formula for goat weights http://www.infovets.com/books/smrm/c/c098.htm
It's heart girth (in inches) x heart girth x number of inches from point of shoulder to pinbone ÷ 300 = goat's weight. It struck me as more accurate than JUST measuring heart girth, and gave me weights that were closer to what I felt my goats actually weigh (the ones too heavy to lift & stand on a bathroom scale). But I don't have a livestock scale to check accuracy. The things I could see throwing the equation off would be a very full rumen or a pregnant belly making the measurement from shoulder to pinbone larger than it would ordinarily be.
I have used that one. The lifted one of the goats up and stood on the scale, it was off over 10 pounds. But, as @Damfino said, there is some wiggle room in how tight you hold the tape. So, I will try that again with a kid, and compare to bathroom scale weight. Maybe I can "calibrate" my measurement to the scale.
 

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I have used that one. The lifted one of the goats up and stood on the scale, it was off over 10 pounds. But, as @Damfino said, there is some wiggle room in how tight you hold the tape. So, I will try that again with a kid, and compare to bathroom scale weight. Maybe I can "calibrate" my measurement to the scale.
Thanks for responding! Probably 10-15 lbs. is close enough for most purposes you'd be needing a weight for, as stated above. It's just interesting to consider how accurate other methods could be if you can't use a scale. The last time I used that formula for weighing, I would re-do the measurements a few times and sort of average them. It's hard to get the tape in the exact right spot and tight enough, especially if you're weighing goats who have turned into wooly mammoths for the winter.
 

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For goats a little larger than you can hold and weigh, I had an older scale. I put a wide piece of thick plywood on it and zero'd the scale, then had the goat stand on the plywood. It helps to have someone to assist. It worked fairly well. My weigh tape was only off about 10# on does.

Not sure on Swiss bucks. No way to reliably weigh them. So the weigh tape has to suffice.
 
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