Market Animal Weigh-In Tips
It’s Almost Weigh-In Time…
And for those who are involved in meat animal projects this time of year, that means only one thing – it’s time to get ready for weigh-in day. Weigh in day marks the official start of the meat animal project, when all of the animals are weighed, recorded, and tagged. However, keep in mind that there is still a lot of work that needs to go into your project before weigh-in day.
For starters, you first need to make sure that you have chosen a good quality animal with high potential. This may sound easy, but you need to realize that a lot of growth will occur in the next 90-120 days, and some things are just out of your control. If you are lucky enough to be able to breed your own meat project animals then you should be fairly familiar with the type of animal that you will be raising. For everyone else, getting ready for weigh-in day means finding a reputable breeder that is willing to sell you one of their young market stock. Often times, if you mention that you are in a meat animal project, the breeder will be willing to help you choose a good animal and give you any advice that you may ask for. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a more experienced member of the meat animal project to help you get started, as the project should focus on learning and sharing the experience.
When you are getting ready for your meat animal project weigh-in, make sure that you have read and understand all of the rules. If you do not do this you may end up not being able to weigh one of your animals in. For example, most states require male animals to be castrated by the time they are weighed-in so that they do not have an unfair advantage over the female animals.
Don’t worry if you make some mistake along the way- everyone has been there at least once! And it’s more important what you decide to do with the new knowledge you gain. For example, the very first year that I decided to raise market lambs I didn’t know that the breed made a difference… So, I bought two horned Dorset lambs that were way too young. I didn’t it until I showed up to weigh them in and they hardly weighed 25 pounds! Looking back on that now, I just have to laugh… but I sure felt embarrassed back then!
One of the tricks that I’ll share with you is to make sure your market animals get all the right nutrition they need, because you only have a limited number of days to get them ready for market. Plus, I strongly recommend a little extra boost of probiotics for times when they were stressed, which include anytime they are transported, given antibiotics or other medicines, and even groomed. The brand that I prefer is Probios, because their products are backed with extensive research and they have a special manufacturing process which allows the probiotics to be stable at room temperature. It’s amazing how products containing probiotics can really help your average daily gain and the overall conditioning of your show animals. If you are interested in trying any Probios products make sure to visit www.PSCFarm.com for their lowest price guarantee. To help you jump start your meat animal project, enjoy an extra 10% off Probios products available on PSCFarm.com – just enter the promo code MAP10 into the coupon code box on the checkout page!
I wish you the best in your experiences with your meat animal project this year!
Shannon Stamper has a B.S. in Science Education from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She has been active with show animals her whole life and started working in Animal Nutrition in 2006.