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Ritchie Beef Monitor Review
Automatic Cattle Weighing System For Finishing Farms with EID Reader - Worth The Cost?
7th Oct, 2019   |
Craig Holder
Pure Bread Beef Cattle
Can You Afford To Risk The Value Of Your Stock?
As a cattle herdsman you have every reason to be optimistic about the future for beef production in the UK, with  strong demand and new markets opening up all the time. The best way to maximise your financial returns is to produce and sell the type of finished cattle the market place really wants and is willing to pay the most money for.
"Sending over-fat cattle to slaughter costs UK producers approximately £12.5 million per year in potential lost earnings and must be avoided" 

- Steve Powdrill (National Selection Specialist)
We all want to avoid price penalties due to poor handling  and reduce the unnecessary cost of over feeding. This is not easy without accurately monitoring the weight of your cattle. 
Getting the Right Conformation and Fat Cover (R4L or Better)
The goal of all finishing farmers is to achieve high value carcasses in the most cost effective and predictable way possible. Taking beasts to the abattoirs that have a confirmation of R and above and a fat cover as close to 4L as possible will drastically increase the profitability of your farm however this is almost impossible to do by eye or even with manual weighing. 
The Ritchie Beef Monitor
"The Best Automatic Weighing System I've Ever seen"
The Ritchie Beef Monitor is a weigh unit with a difference. The crate allows cattle to be weighed multiple times a day without the use of labour and without moving cattle from their pen. A huge reduction in stress for both stockman and stock.

After installing a Ritchie Beef Monitor unit in a finishing pen of 40-50 head, the cattle access the water trough by stepping on the weighing platform. Using EID ear tags an accurate weight of each beast can be recorded and sent to the cloud every time they go to water. This enables beef finishing units to closely monitor the growth rate of their cattle.
Beef Monitor Cattle Walk Over Weighing System
What Are Cattle Finishers Saying?
We asked Ian Green of WJ&J Green what his experiance was of using the Ritchie Beef Monitor, This is what he said:

"This system is giving us the accuracy I could not achieve by eye and without which I'd have to weigh manually. We've been weighing pedigree animals conventionally for a long time and I have always liked to think I have a good eye for assessing weight, but I know it is not necessarily so, What it means is we're not sending in cattle which will be penalised on being over-weight — in our case 400kg dead weight for our buyer — but also we can take them closer to their target weight safely. The system flags up all animals calculated to be 100kg off finishing.” 

Automatic daily weight monitoring also identified something the Greens would not otherwise have known. 

The Greens use Breedplan recording with the British Simmental Cattle Society for the pedigrees and that includes fat depth and eye muscle 
monitoring by ultrasound.

"When we did this  with a bunch of 32 bulls, the automatic weighing revealed it took 7 -10 days before these bulls began to put on weight again, and we are quite sure this can be put down simply to the stress of being handled. 

You just wouldn’t know that was happening. 

So, anything that can be automated to minimise the need to handle cattle has  got to be good for both men and cattle, and 
will reduce the days to slaughter.”
Is It Worth The Investment?
Since we have been using the Beef Monitor, our average deadweight has increased from 376kg to 399kg. That is an extra 23kg of value per 
beast, and on that basis, coupled with few weight penalties, I think this system can certainly pay for itself,” 

The Corskie cattle actually grade well with the majority ‘U’ and rarely any ‘R’s, and consistently fat class three or four.

The system also confirmed that ‘diluting’ the  bought-in finishing blend with home-grown cereals to reduce costs, was actually not that 
cost-effective. The whole pen stood still for two weeks afterwards, something we would  just not have known, and so we then switched 
back to 100% blend.

The last complete batch of 50 bulls achieved an average daily live weight gain over 93 days of 2.16kg, the highest being 2.73kg which was 
a Simmental cross. The best Shorthorn sired  was 2.37kg. “It has also helped us identify a home-bred stock bull as a top performer for 
his progeny’s daily gain”
Beef Monitor Helped Identify Top Performing Stock Bull

What Breeds Are Best To Use Ritchie Beef Monitor With?
The Ritchie Beef Monitor will help you to maximise your stock value regardless of breed however if used with high value breeds then it is likely to give a better return on investment.

Some of the breeds that we recommend include Limousin, Aberdeen Angus, Simmental, British Blue, Hereford and Cross breeds of these.

Recording With IED Tag For Better Analysis
Average daily weights and average daily live weight gains are recorded using each beasts IED tag. Weights are calculated using the website and handy app (suitable for smart phone and laptop) enabling the herdsman to determine how the stock are performing at a glance.

What if There's No Power Source?
The Solar Panel Kit has a battery included and it allows for use of the Ritchie Beef Monitor (BM3000) in the field or all locations away from a power source.
The Solar Panel Kit alongside the Ritchie Beef Monitor crate allows cattle to be weighed multiple times a day without the use of labour and without moving cattle from their location. A huge reduction in stress for both stockman and stock.

Can You Afford Not To Buy This?
If you own or run a cattle finishing farm then investing in an automatic beef monitor is essential. Act now or you could find yourself being left behind by less experienced farmers. 
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