At Derrinstown Stud we are delighted to have three Horse Weigh scales. They are safe, easy to use and completely portable, which is a huge advantage.”
Manager, Derrinstown Stud
Horse weighing is now becoming increasingly important in the studs and breeding establishments. Many Newmarket studs are weighing their foals within 12 – 36 hours of birth. This information is then relayed to mare owners, and used by stud grooms and managers to further enhance breeding and rearing. Thus aiding the production of potential winners.
It is essential that the chosen weigh platform is both attractive and of a non-frightening and safe design to the foal. Furthermore, full mobility, all surfaces and gradient friendly are key feature, and no power source required during use, are ‘key features’.
Horse Weigh, recently used by The British Olympic Teams, is able to provide all these requirements.
Nowadays equine students graduate extremely computer-literate. They are also being made more aware of the importance of weighing in order to gain a closer understanding and to be able to improve and promote more exact management of their charge.
Stud grooms and managers are weighing foals within 12 – 36 hours of birth. Breeding and rearing decisions are then taken, all aimed at producing ‘top yearlings’ for the sales. In turn, the leading trainers and agents can then invest, on behalf of their clients, wisely with the sole aim of continuing the flow of prolific winners from the training yards.
It is also very much worth noting that some mare owners stipulate that their chosen yard must be able to offer a ‘state of the art’ weighing facility, if they are to send mares there. An exact science is being borne in the studs and breeding establishments. A correlation has been found between foal weight and its potential to grow into both a genetically and physically superior yearling ready for its racing career.
Stud Grooms and Managers
Stud grooms and managers need to weigh their foals at birth and their young stock weekly to be able to continually monitor their weight gain. Growth profiles can then be graphed showing actual versus target weights. Corrective management can be in implemented if targets are not being met.
Furthermore the exact weight of foals and young stock should be known before any anaesthetic, tetanus, vaccine, medication or wormer is given by yard staff or a vet. Therefore, safe practice is occurring, which in turn promotes large financial savings especially derived from a reduction in product wastage.
Key requirements – Weigh platform
- Good design, ability to perform and mobility
- Very foal/yearling friendly – to promote easy and quick weighing with maximum safety to the foal/yearling. (In the foal’s case causing the least stress to the mother (standing close by) whilst its weighing is being carried out)
- A need for consistently accurate weights and easy transportability promoting maximum mobility
- The weighing platform should be able to work on any gradient or surface with complete stability, in order not to frighten the foal/yearling
Key requirements – Electronics
- Fast, accurate and stable readings
- An automatic zeroing out function between individual horse weighing to achieve a high degree of accuracy. (This is particularly useful if the stud groom or manager wishes to lay shavings or straw across the floor of the weigh platform so as to minimise any foal/yearling fear)
- No power point or large battery unit restricting mobility, ideally mains rechargeable. (A minimum number of loose cables to reduce the risk of a foal/yearling becoming entangled)
- The weigh platform should never require calibrating
- Maximum weight capacity of 1500 kg (3300 lbs)
Overload capacity 3000 kg (6600 lbs) – i.e. any sudden movement – for example, a horse rearing
- Weighing in the studs and breeding establishments has arrived, and is here to stay. Safety for the horse and consistently accurate weights for the user are necessities. The key requirements are extensive and must be fully adhered to by the weigh platform for accuracy and safety