For Ella and Matt King, weighing is all about running an efficient and profitable business.

The Kings are lower order sharemilkers on a 700-cow dairy operation in Clydevale, South Otago. For the past seven years, Ella has also been a hands-on calf rearer. This season, the couple swapped out their trusted EziWeigh 7 indicator to trial its successor, the JR5000 (pictured).

The JR5000 is a new entry-level weigh scale indicator from Datamars, with improved functionality including a large colour screen, auto transfer from EID readers and a large, durable keypad for data entry. It is an ideal tool to help small to medium farming operations achieve their growth targets, sell animals at the right weight for the best price and ensure herd traceability for NAIT.

Even when working with calves every day, Ella doesn’t rely on the eye-o-meter to assess their progress.

“I am regular with the weighing. Every seven to ten days, I weigh my calves to see their growth rate and figure out how much they are gaining.”

Ella rears 170 for heifer replacements and the regular weigh sessions provide useful information to better manage farm resources, keep money in their pocket, and improve the overall health of their future herd.

“While weighing, I have a look over each animal for health issues as they come over the scales. Spot them then and there and take whatever action I need before anything becomes an expensive vet problem.”

The JR5000 has made it easier for Ella to record and manage groups in the yard. 

“I don’t want to have calves that are 120kgs in the same mob as the ones that are 85kgs so I’m sending calves over to the run-off in groups. With the JR5000 we can label groups. I can see the average weight, the number of calves I’ve run through.”