How to Install Cattle Scales

Monday, February 27, 2012

by Keith Allen |

Cattle scales are available in two sizes or styles. Small scale cattle operations often use a combination squeeze chute and scale. This equipment weighs the animals one at a time, usually as part of the normal handling process. Larger operations use scales capable of weighing several head at the same time. These scales are usually installed in an alleyway of a feed lot or yard. Small groups of animals are herded on to the scale and weighed. These larger scales are usually professionally installed.

Things You’ll Need

MTIAHS500 Sheep and Hog Scale System. To order this and other cattle scales visit us at


1. Include space for the scale in the cattle handling facility. Small portable scales can be placed in front of the squeeze chute. This allows each animal to be weighed after any medical work, such as vaccination or castration, is performed.

2. Uncrate the scale. Single animal scales are usually shipped assembled, while multi-animal scales should be assembled according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scales are pre-calibrated and only require placement on a level surface. Adjust the levelers on the legs, if present, or place blocks or shims under the legs if necessary.

3. Provide electrical service to the scale site. Digital scales require electricity for operation. Outdoor outlets should have ground fault interrupter protection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Provide a workspace or tabletop near the scale. Weighing the cattle doesn’t do any good unless the weights are recorded. Install an electric outlet and possibly even an computer network connection for computerized recording of weight information.
  • Place permanent scales in portions of the cattle working equipment not under continuous use. The scale should be located where the cattle can be driven onto the scale when necessary but not every time they are moved in the cattle handling facility. This prevents unnecessary wear on the scale.
  • Damage can occur if scales are overloaded. Know the limitations of the scale and limit the number of animals weighed to appropriate levels.
  • Prepare the scale location according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some scales sit on concrete slabs. Others require an excavation and foundation. Know what is required before purchasing the scale.


To get more information on cattle scales, cattle guards, or saddle pads, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on grain weight conversion, hog feeders, and hay feeders, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on bulk feed bins, livestock scales, and radiant under-floor heating, please visit Barn World.

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