DairyNZ Body Condition Scoring videos
Body Condition Scoring videos
How to Body Condition Score
Body condition scoring is a simple process. However, it is important to calibrate the eye by first condition scoring cows "hands on" at the dairy. Then you are ready to BCS in the paddock:
Line up 15 cows with a range of BCS
- Put your hands on the important body parts
- Feel the amount of fat cover over the various body points and the difference between the cows. Note that gut fill can give visual impression of condition over the ribs; it is, therefore, important to feel the amount of fat cover.
- Average the different areas to come up with the BCS for that cow.
Critical Points for Body Condition Scoring
What to look at when you condition score cows
- Backbone - Is it flat or is there a ridge? Can you see or easily feel notches?
- Long ribs - Can you see or easily feel the ribs? If visible how many can you see?
- Short ribs - Can you see the short ribs? What do they feel like? Are the rib ends sharp or rounded?
- Hip bones - Are the hip bones rounded or angular?
- Rump - Is the area between the pins and hip bones, flat, sunken or hollow?
- Pin bones - Are they pointed, "tap" like or rounded?
- Tailhead - Is there a hollow between the tail head and pin bones? Is it a deep V or shallow U shape?
- Thigh - Is the area indented, flat or rounded? Is the muscle structure defined.
How well can you BCS? Are you as good as you think? Take the interactive BCS quiz and test yourself. It’s a great introduction for new staff or can be used as a refresher for everyone.