Weighing your goats

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by MadHouse, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. I have a livestock scale

    4 vote(s)
  2. Tape measure

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. CountyLineAcres

    CountyLineAcres Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mineral Ridge, Ohio
    We need to get weights constantly so a large animal scale is worth it for us, since it’s the most accurate.

  3. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    I stand my goats on a bathroom scale. Dwarfs and pygmies think its a game.
  4. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    I do that with the kids too.
    But adults won’t fit or cooperate...
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  5. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    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.
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Large animal scales are the best.

    The tape is unreliable.
  7. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    I have a livestock scale from SmithCo. I have nigerians but I wasn't about to try standing on a bathroom scale holding a full-grown rutty buck. I wanted to be able to get accurate weights for dosing medications. I use it for everything from my cats to my miniature horses :p
  8. Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    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.
  9. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    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
    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
  10. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    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. ;)
  11. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    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.
    MadHouse likes this.
  12. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    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.
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  13. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    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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  14. MuldrowBeeandGoatFarm

    MuldrowBeeandGoatFarm Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2019
    My husband and son lift the goats and rhen say, "100lbs" or whatever. They are both pretty accurate. Everytime we take one to the vet, they each guess the weight and have always been within a pound or 2. The vet techs love it!
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  15. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    That is AWESOME!
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  16. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    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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