Weighing is a core action under the new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), making up to 20% of the yearly payment. The requirement is to weigh the cow and calf, on the same day. The calf must be over 50 days of age and not yet weaned from its dam. The ideal time to weigh is when the majority of calves are in the 5 to 8-month stage. Spring-born calves can now be weighed. With over 20,000 farmers in SCEP who will have to weigh animals, farmers are advised to book scales in plenty of time as demand may be high at peak times. Currently only 15% of SCEP participants have some animals weighed, which is behind where we were this time last year.
There are 35,041 eligible pairs weighed across 2,502 herds with a scales registered, borrowed or rented to date. However, there are a small number of herds without a registered scales. These herds should take action to rectify this as soon as possible.
Scheme participants are reminded to ensure that they have a valid scales, registered or linked to their herd for their date of weighing. Weights will not be accepted unless they can be linked to a scheme registered scales.
To hire a weighing scales, please visit Weighing ICBF – ICBF
Herd owners should ensure the cow and her calf are weighed on the same day and before the calf is weaned.
You have several options when recording the animal’s weights, these include:
- ICBF weight recording mobile app.
- Online Services on icbf.com – Log In – ‘Services’ – ‘BEEP-S or Dairy Beef Programme’ – ‘Record Weights’.
- Farm Software package.
- Record on Animal Events notebook and transfer online afterwards.
- Weight Recording Form (if online is not an option). These can be requested from ICBF (023-8832883)
What are the benefits of weighing cattle?
Weighing cattle is an important management tool within any herd. It provides accurate, animal-specific performance data which allows farmers to make more informed decisions – helping to improve both the productivity and efficiency of their cattle herd.
- Monitor Animal Performance – Regularly weighing cattle allows their performance to be assessed. This information can be used to highlight whether animals are meeting their daily liveweight gain targets and indicates management areas that may require attention.
- Improve Animal Health – Regularly weighing cattle may help to identify any underlying health issues at a very early stage. Under-performing animals who are failing to meet their growth targets can be easily identified and investigation carried out to determine the cause. Weighing cattle also allows for accurate administration of veterinary treatments. This helps prevent any under or overdosing of animals, which is beneficial in minimising the risk of antibiotic resistance occurring on farm.
- Forecast Optimum Time for Sale – Regular weighing of cattle allows stock to be sold/slaughtered at the optimum weight grade, ensuring maximum profitability.
Recording Weights on ICBF
Links to download ICBF Weight recording app:
Scales can be rented through 100 depots spread across the country in Co-Ops, Marts and FRS offices. Scales rented through the Cattle Weighing Scales Rental Service are automatically linked to your herd. To hire a scales, go to Cattle Weighing Scales Rental Service. Please note: availability may be limited in the final few weeks so it is imperative to book your scales asap.
For more information, please contact the HerdPlus office on 023-8820452 or email [email protected].