Cattle Body Condition Scoring

Body condition scoring is a simple technique used to estimate cattle body fat. Yet despite its simplicity, it is one of the most powerful tools in your herd management toolbox.

While it’s not hard to see whether cows are getting thinner or fatter, body condition scores provide a consistent standardized measurement system. Measurement is the first step in successful management. You can navigate to to know more about Body Condition Score.

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Cattle body condition scores play a pivotal role in maximizing fertility in your breeding herd. They are used in almost all cattle nutrition and supplementation calculations. They are invaluable to your cattle finishing program if you want to consistently produce tender flavorful beef.

They are the key to longer grazing seasons and one of your most important tools to keep cattle safe and healthy while grazing during the winter / dry season. And if you want to make use of compensatory gain to increase gain weights on pasture, you need to understand body condition scores.

Before you can begin to use body condition scores successfully, you need to “calibrate your eye” to recognize how different body fat levels look while your cattle are out on pasture.

Condition scores are measured by feeling for fat cover with your hands. Fat cover is measured over four major locations on the animal’s body: back bone (spine or topline), short ribs, hip bones (hooks and pins) and tail head on a scale of one to five. A score of one is assigned to an extremely skinny or emaciated animal, and a score of five is assigned to an extremely fat or obese animal.

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