Body condition scoring
Body condition scoring (BCS) was developed around 20 years ago and is widely accepted as a practical means of assessing the impact of negative energy balance in early lactation.
This system concentrates on the accurate determination of scores between 2.0 and 4.0 as these are the most critical for management decisions.
Scores outside these values are extreme, those below 2.0 are seriously under-conditioned and require immediate attention as do those at 4.0 and above which require controlled weight loss.
Scores range from 1 to 5 in increments of 0.25. This system concentrates on accurately assigning scores from 2.0 to 4.0. Scorers using this system will be able to assign BCS consistently and accurately
Body condition scoring resources
Body condition scoring flow chart
A flowchart on how to assess body condition score in dairy cattle, using the Penn State assessment method.