Wow! Every Animal Weighs 170 Pounds!

Hoosier Perspectives

It's amazing what a few adjustments on a scale can do.

Published on: June 18, 2012

I couldn't fit into our livestock scales designed for pigs and sheep, or I would have. The first three animals we weighed the other day all weighed 170 pounds, and they all looked bigger than that. "Weigh yourself, dad," my daughter said,. "You weigh more than 170 pounds. We'll know if it's working or not."

Thanks a lot Kayla. If I could have fit inside it, I would have, because by then I figured out likely something was wrong, and it would be nice to say I weighed 170 pounds again on a scale, even if it wasn't accurate. Per Kayla's nagging, I did put both feet on the front of the scale and let it hold me up. When it said 170 pounds again, I had my answer. Something was amiss.

Indeed, someone had messed with the adjustments and the bar on the beam scales couldn't go any lower to exert more pressure and get the dial on the scales past 170 pounds. A quick adjustment took care of that. And no, I didn't get back on the scale again!

A tame pig around our place is a rarity, because we mostly raise Spots and Berks, and the first is cantankerous, and the second is downright pigheaded stubborn- but they taste good once they're on the plate. Evan famous chefs on TV recommend Berkshire pork. Of course those chefs never had to try to get one into a scale I'm sure.

Anyway, we have a tame crossbred. He was the first weighed and I was shocked he didn't weigh more than 170. So we let him outside to wander around while we weighed more. When I finally realized the error and fixed it, I told my wife outside we would need that pig back.

All I heard was laughter. He heard me say that, and here he was at the door. Whether you believe in coincidence, or if you can believe that animals can talk is up to you. I'll call it coincidence. But he walked back on the scale like a model citizen. This time he weighed 215- more like it. He even volunteered to get weighed a third time, but we figured two times was enough for one day.

This is just the first funny moment in what is sure to be a laugh--packed season of 4-H showing. Aren't they all? If this fair in mid-July in Johnson County is as hot as last summer, I'll spend time at home or in my friends trailer with air at the fairgrounds, and hear about the results later. It touched 100 degrees F twice last year during the fair.

That pig may wish he only weighed 170 pounds if it's that hot! Yes, I would probably feel better at any temperature at 170 pounds too. Right now, I'd settle for 250- for me and the pig!