Animal Scales Buyers Guide

Animal Scales Buyers Guide

Veterinarian Scales Buyers Guide

Animals come in a huge range of shapes and sizes and, likewise, choosing an animal scale can be daunting. Our guide to weighing animals aims to assist you not only in the weighing of animals, but with how to choose the right animal scale for your needs.

Regular weighing is essential for monitoring the health of your pet, patient, or livestock to ensure that they are not under or overweight. For farmers, there will be an optimal weight for your livestock to be and you want to make sure that you take care of your investment. Dairy farmers who do not quickly recognise their cows' sudden weight loss may be jeopardising the health of their entire herd if the weight loss is due to disease. For zoo keepers and handlers, the weight of the animals not only indicate health but can help to identify when or which animals are ready for breeding programs.

When weighing animals, it's never as easy as politely asking the animal to step onto a scale and stay as still as they can while you measure their weight. Animals, big and small, aren't known for being cooperative - especially when hurt or in pain!

Digital scales with dynamic weighing functions account for this, allowing for accurate readings even when the animal is moving. How it works is that it calculates the weight of the animal and holds the value on the display, so that any moving around or fidgeting does not affect the displayed weight once it's taken. This feature is indispensable for farmers, veterinarians and any professional animal handler, as it removes the need to restrain or tranquilise the animal. 

Weighing Horses

Some animals may soil themselves, or just be dirty from the outdoors, when you weigh them. An IP65 or IP66 rated waterproof scale (or washdown scale) solves this problem, making the scale safe to wash down after every use to prevent any build up of dirt, waste, blood, fur, feathers, and anything else that contaminate the scale.

It is recommended that you ensure the weighing pan is made of stainless steel and is removable, so that it can be thoroughly hosed down in between uses.

Animals, generally, have no respect for expensive equipment so any digital scale used for weighing animals will need to be durable enough to withstand heavy use and protect against external pressures, especially if used in an outdoor environment such as a zoo or farm where animal weighing may take place in the animal's habitat. Shock protection offers a high amount of precision even when animals jump around on the scale causing shock to the load cells.

Many animal professionals, such as vets or groomers, require a portable weighing solution so a battery-operated animal scale allows the scale to be used anywhere. Whether you perform home visits as a veterinarian or just need to transport the scale to various locations around a farm, zoo or laboratory.

Tips for Weighing Animals

  • If you are a veterinarian who specialises in animal care for a specific type of animal or domestic pet, you may find that a single scale will be all you need. However, if you work with animals of varying sizes, you will likely need different types of scales.
  • Smaller animals require a precision balance to accurately measure at smaller weight capacities.
  • Extremely large or heavy animals are best weighed with a platform or pallet beam scale.
  • Consider using treats to coax the animal onto the scale, and persuade it to stay still whilst it is being weighed.
  • It may be easier, with some animals, to weigh the handler while they are holding the animal. The known weight of the trained handler can be tared so that only the weight of the animal being held is measured.
  • Similarly, you can weigh the animal whilst it is in a cage or wrapped in a blanket, and have the extra weight of the cage or blanket tared.
  • Some software will allow you to record the data for multiple weighing sessions, so that you can easily sort the data for later analysis.
  • For small laboratory animal weighing, many analytical balances will have a container or glass chamber where small animals such as lab mice and rats can be placed.
  • A wooden plank, steel platform or even a cattle crush can be added to weigh bars, allowing large several-tonne animals to walk onto the platform for weighing.
  • For animals that need to be hoisted due to injury, obesity or tranquiliser, crane scales can weigh large animals while they are suspended in the air.

At Braymont Scales, we provide animal scales and veterinary scales to animal care professionals all around the world, from veterinary surgeries and farms to zoos and domestic pet owners. Whether you want to weigh tiny reptiles or large mammals up to 10,000kg - we can help to find the perfect weighing machine for you.

A few from our extensive range...

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