Inscale’s Guide to Chick Weighing
To celebrate Easter, we thought we would look for an Easter related blog post, and since Easter egg weighing is yet to take off, we settled on chick weighing. Animal weighing scales can be used to check the weight of your chicks and ensure correct development, and we’re going to highlight why you should be weighing your chicks, how to do it and what the right scale is for doing it.
Why would you weigh chicks?
Weighing chicks can be a useful way of making sure they are healthy and developing at the right pace. It gives crucial information on live stock performance and helps to identify potential performance issues further on in development.
It can also give important information on feeding amounts to provide the chicks with the right nutrients to develop correctly, which is especially crucial to broiler chickens where weight is one of the most effective metrics of quality of the product. Regular weighing allows for the farmers to change their feed amounts and recipes if necessary, which not only benefits the chicks but ensures that feed wastage is kept to a minimum.
How do you weigh chicks?
Weighing chicks can be a time consuming business and it’s often simply not possible to weigh individual animals, especially for larger flocks, so an average chick weight system is usually used to help save time.
To do this, begin by setting up your weighing scale – either a regular bench or floor scale or a hanging scale – and ensure it is calibrated correctly to give accurate results. Boxes can be used on weighing scales with top pans, where a hanging scale would require something with a hangable handle such as a bucket – just make sure to tare off the weight of anything before the weighing process begins.
Next, choose a selection of 10 – 20 birds and safely place them inside the weighing container before placing the container on the pan or hook. Be sure to make a note of the amount of chicks you have selected as that will be important for calculating average weight. Also, it’s important to remember that the weighing process can be stressful to chicks that more often than not don’t want to be handled, so take great care in catching and handling them.
Record the total weight of the chick sample and simply divide by the number of chicks being weighed to determine the average weight of one chick.
This process can be carried out from the day the chicks are born, then repeated at multiple intervals along the development process, which is commonly every week.
Interpreting the results of chick weight
If your weighing results are not what you expected and your chicks are not developing at the correct pace, the first thing to do is to repeat the weighing process to eliminate the risk of inaccurate data.
If the data is still the same, the first action to take would be to assess the feed amounts and increase or decrease depending on weight deviation. It can also be a good idea to assess the living conditions such as air temperature, light levels and humidity, as this can have an affect on chick development. If your conditions are correct and your feeding amounts are too, this could be an early indication of disease and so would need to be dealt with appropriately.
How much do day old chicks weigh?
The weight of a day-old chick can vary greatly depending on the breed. Large fowl breeds can range roughly from 35- 65 grams when born, whereas bantam chicks can be a low as 20 grams. Weight is also dependent on the humidity during the incubation period – dry incubators will generally produce lighter chicks when hatching.
What weighing scales can be used to weigh chicks?
There are a couple of different types of weighing scale that can be used to weigh chicks; a regular animal weighing scale or a hanging scale.
Animal scales with weighing platforms are perfect for weighing boxes of chicks, and we would recommend the CPWPlus range from Adam Equipment, which includes CPWplus S, CPWPlus M and CPWPlus L models. All of these scales are durable and easy to clean, the only difference being the size of the weighing pan and the maximum capacity and readabilities.
Alternatively, a hanging scale such as the Kern CH Hanging Scale can be a great option for safely and easily weighing buckets of chicks – simply hook the handle onto the stainless steel weighing hook and lift. The CH also features 4 unique hold functions that can make weighing moving subjects easier.
You can see all of our animal weighing scales here.