Technical and economic efficiency of bovine weighing methods

Marcos Aurélio Lopes, Juliana Aparecida Vieira, Francisco Helton Sá de Lima, Fabiana Alves Demeu, Fábio Raphael Pascoti Bruhn, Adriano Pereira, Fabio Henrique Vicente, Pedro Salermo Casas

Abstract


The objective of this study was to evaluate the technical and economic efficiency of different methods of cattle weighing, and to develop mathematical equations to estimate the breakeven point for the adoption of electronic weighing, i.e., to estimate how many animals are required for the acquisition and use of an electronic scale to be economically viable. The survey was conducted in confined beef cattle, from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology in the south of Minas Gerais, IFSUL DE MINAS, Muzambinho Campus, from July to December 2014. Two methods of weighing cattle were evaluated: an electronic scale and a tape measure, using a barimetric tape for dairy cattle and a barimetric tape for beef cattle, and a conventional tape measure involving the conversion of centimeters into body weight using a specific table. Thirty-three animals identified with plastic ear tags were weighed using each method. Animals of the Nellore, Senepol, Girolando, and Red-angus breeds, aged 0–1, 1–2, and 2–3 years, were weighed 402 times in total. The time taken to weigh animals with the electronic scale was the lowest, followed by that with the barimetric tape, and that with conventional tape measure with conversion. The electronic scale exhibited the greatest technical efficiency, owing to the lack of error and the lowest time required to weigh animals. However, the costs associated with the use of this equipment were the highest, which depended on the purchasing cost. The mathematical equations developed will help technicians and cattle farmers to rapidly and precisely estimate the minimum number of animals that should compose a production system to ensure economic viability for the adoption of an electronic method to weigh cattle.

Keywords


Automation; Cattle raising; Animals handling; Morphometry; Precision animal science.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2018v39n3p1167

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional