Beginner s Guide to Body Condition Scoring - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Beginner s Guide to Body Condition Scoring

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    1. Beginners Guide to Body Condition Scoring A Tool for Dairy Herd Management Web Presentation Updated July, 2004

    2. Using body condition scoring to fine tune herd nutrition and health management has become a widely accepted practice. This presentation is designed to Introduce you to body condition scoring Provide examples of cows scored 1 to 5

    3. Evaluating Body Condition vs. Type Type evaluation (classification, judging) compares animals to the ideal conformation Body condition scoring considers the relative fatness or thinness of animals

    4. Goals of Body Condition Scoring Early detection of potential health problems Identify areas for improved feeding management Improve herd health, production, reproduction, profitability

    5. Body Condition Scoring Visual and tactile evaluation of body fat reserves Indication of energy balance Scale of 1 to 5, increments of 0.25 Body Condition Score = BCS BCS 1 = emaciated cow (too thin) BCS 3 = average body condition BCS 5 = excessively fat cow

    6. Areas to Evaluate Rump / Pelvic Area Tailhead Hooks Pins Thurl Loin Short ribs Spine

    7. Side View

    9. Step-by-Step Process See Learn to Score Body Condition presentation on the dairy nutrition website Not a perfect science Scores should be similar (? 0.25) When measured on one animal or When measured by different people Separates average condition from extremes

    11. Examples of Scores Presented to help you see the major differences for a more detailed system of scoring, see Learn to Score Body Condition

    12. Side view Bones of tailhead easy to see Prominent backbone Tips of short ribs are clearly visible Hooks, thurl, and pins very prominent

    13. All boney prominences easily visible Hooks, pins, spine, & ribs very sharp Deep cavities around tailhead Thin legs, poor muscle condition

    14. Tailhead prominent, limited skin cover Prominent backbone Limited skin cover on short ribs. From tip to spine, short ribs are visible of the distance Angular hooks and pins with prominent thurl

    15. Hooks, pins, & thurl prominent Tailhead area somewhat hollow, but has modest covering of flesh

    16. Visible backbone Tip of short ribs smooth, but visible Hooks angular, but pins padded by fat V-angle formed between hooks, thurl, and pins

    17. Hooks angular, but pins more rounded or padded with fat Hollow below tailhead compared to a BCS 3

    18. More flesh covering backbone Tip of short ribs smooth Hooks and pins rounded and smooth V-angle formed between hooks, thurl, and pins

    19. Hooks and pins rounded No deep depressions or fat deposits around tailhead Score 3 is used for cows in good condition. This is a result of proper attention given to ration formulation, monitoring cows for changes in bodyweight, and making ration adjustments when necessary.Score 3 is used for cows in good condition. This is a result of proper attention given to ration formulation, monitoring cows for changes in bodyweight, and making ration adjustments when necessary.

    20. More flesh covering backbone Tip of short ribs very smooth Hooks and pins more rounded and smooth U-angle formed between hooks, thurl, and pins

    21. Rounded hooks & pins Sacral and tailhead ligaments visible

    22. Backbone barely visible Short ribs very smooth, tips barely visible Hooks and pins very smooth, but visible Flat between hooks and pins

    23. Hooks & pins rounded, but visible Rump and thurl flat Sacral and tailhead ligaments not visible

    25. All boney prominences rounded and covered in fat Tailhead buried in fat Fat deposits readily seen on rump and legs

    26. Summary The body condition scoring scale Under-conditioned cows = BCS 1 Over-conditioned cows = BCS 5 Determining a cow's BCS Look at pelvic area and loin Fat deposits become evident ? cow is over conditioned Bone structures become prominent ? cow is thin