How to Take the Most Accurate Records at Weaning Time

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How to Take the Most Accurate Records at Weaning Time

by Emme Demmendaal and Jackie Atkins, PhD  |         

Weaning Weight    

Maybe you take weaning weights every year, or you’re starting to take weaning weights for the first time this fall. Knowing or refreshing on the best way to record and report your weights to the Association will provide you with more accurate data returned on your calf crop. Here are some ways to ensure the most accurate measurements.

■ Measure as close to 205 days of age with an acceptable window (with ASA) from 160–250 days of age.

■ Measure weights to the nearest whole pound increment.

■ Calibrate and clean the scale periodically.

■ Take empty body weights — in other words, cattle waiting to be weighed that are drinking water will be heavier than their cohorts weighed without waterfill.

■ Ideally, weigh all cattle in the same pasture group on the same day.


Docility is collected at either weaning or yearling time.

■ Score an entire age group of cattle at the same time (don’t score some at weaning and others at yearling). If you collect docility scores at a separate time than weaning, you’ll want to report the separate date.

■ Grab a chute scoring method used by the ASA rubric (found online).

■ Have one person do all the scoring (avoid one person doing some of the cattle and another person scoring the other portion). Consistency is key to subjective measurements like docility.



Other measurements taken at weaning time are hip height and sheath/navel score. You can find more in-depth tips on how to measure and record this data by going online to

When reporting weaning weights, docility, hip height, and sheath/navel score to the ASA, you can also report how the animal was managed, Management Code (MC), and pasture unit (PU). Both types of information help with determining environmental and contemporary factors.



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