Weighing goats

Weighing goats is not exactly like stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office.  Well, it is but isn’t.  I’ve been remiss about lead training my girls and each time I need to put a leash on them and lead them, I realize what a mistake that has been and how I really need to start working on this.

First thing necessary is a proper scale.  I found a bargain scale on line for a fourth of the price of the one that looked best.  I should have realized that even though it was advertised to weigh goats and sheep, when they didn’t give platform dimensions it was a bad sign.

Well, my bargain scale arrived and upon opening the package it was very clear that to weigh a goat or sheep, it would have to be a baby or in packages of frozen meat.  Okay, that scale now resides with a friend who uses it to weigh her cats (she some times rescues and needs to track weights).  She also weighs her luggage before leaving on a trip which saves her time at the airport.

The scale that I ordered – and am delighted with – is at palletscales.net, from A and A Scales, LLC, (800) 481-4114, Model VS660-36.  The pad is 36×16 inches, ample size for my goats.  I am happier with it than I can express.  If you are in the market for an animal scale that will weigh your goats, sheep or even dogs, I highly recommend this.  The most difficult thing was getting the girls, one by one, to the scale.  A bucket with sunflower seeds in it kept them happy once they were there.  The scale has a tare setting and a setting that averages the weight for fidgety animals.  It may seem a bit expensive; however, it will be well worth it for me since my Ginger girl is overweight and has had settling and pregnancy issues.  Both may be related to her weight; my vet bill this past week would have nearly paid for the scale.  This scale will allow me to monitor her weight.  Earlier this week, the vet said she could easily lose ten pounds.  The scale revealed to be far too true.

To show you the weight issues, I list the weights here.  Summer, my four-year-old milking doe who kidded last April, not pregnant, weighs 63.6 pounds.  Ginger, my little too-heavy girl, three years old, and no longer pregnant, weighs 80.6 pounds!  Dancer, my two-year-old girl, and may be pregnant due at the end of May, weighs 72.2 pounds.  Dollie who will be one year old in May weighs 47.2 pounds.  You might be able to see, noticing the range of weights there, that keeping track of weights could be a valuable asset in managing does and preparing for breeding and kidding.  The vet said earlier in the week that Ginger could stand to lose ten pounds.  While I knew she was heavier than her year-older half sister, I had no idea she was twenty pounds heavier, Summer weighing only 75 percent of Ginger’s weight!  To better understand this, Summer and Ginger are both Capri’s children; Ginger and Dancer have the same father.  Dollie is also Capri’s daughter by a different father from Summer and Dollie but cannot really be considered here since she is not yet fully grown.  Any way we look at it, Ginger is way overweight!

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