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Beef cow body condition scoring

Scoring system from 1 to 9

For a cow to produce healthy offspring it has to be in good condition. University of Nebraska beef cattle specialist Rick Rasby says a body condition scoring system gives producers a way to manage cows for optimal performance.

"Most folks in the beef cattle business use a 1 to 9 scoring system, where one is a very thin and emaciated animal, and nine is a very fat and obese animal," Rasby says."When we say 'condition', basically what we're saying is that you're really measuring the amount of fat that an animal’s carrying."

Data suggests that if spring-calving cows have a condition score of five, production will probably be good the next breeding season. Dr. Rasby says heifers calving for the first time should have a score of six.

The best time to check body condition is 90 to 100 days prior to calving, and then again at weaning. You don't need a professional to do it; you can train yourself with fact sheets and modules online.

Suggested websites:

Body Condition Scoring Your Beef Cow Herd

Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows

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