How Do You Weigh a Cow?
While this isn’t likely a question that burns at you day after day, it does occupy a bit of our time. How the heck do you weigh a cow?
When we harvest our grapes, I weigh them by dragging the bathroom scale out to the shed, weighing myself with two empty 5-gallon buckets, then weighing myself with two buckets full of grapes. We’ve weighed thousands of pounds of grapes this way. (We’re totally into high tech around here.)
Weighing sheep is a bit more advanced because we have a walk-on scale, sized just for sheep. Some sheep stand there quietly so we can read the gauge; others dance around like crazy animals while the scale reads 50 pounds then 150 pounds then back to 50. Eventually we get a fairly accurate reading.
But our beef steers are too large to fit onto this sheep scale. I’ve resorted to asking advice. Our friend Joe stopped by and I dragged him out to the barn. “How big do you think these guys are?”
Joe shrugged. “450 pounds or so.”
When our neighbor Lyle stopped by, Melissa pulled him over to the steers. “How much do you think they weigh?’
Lyle eyed the cows. “500-600 pounds.”
We envied these men’s ability to eyeball an animal and know its weight, but we needed something a little more accurate. We could not, however, afford a $1000 cow scale.
Luckily there is a gadget in farming for every single thing a farmer needs to do, and Melissa discovered the Cow Weight Measuring Tape for $2.00.
Turns out our steers weigh between 450 and 600 pounds, just as our experts had predicted. But now we have the tape, so we’ll be able to estimate ourselves. Although I’m not sure how accurate the tape is, since I caught one of the steers sucking in his breath and trying to make himself skinny.
I can certainly relate. When a tape measure gets near my body, I suck it up and imagine myself as thin as possible. I totally surprised the nurse at the clinic the other day when she asked me politely if I’d like to step up on the scale.
I said ‘No.’
So even though we now have a great tool for weighing our steers, we won’t likely put them through it very often.