Body condition score for beef cattle

Score 1 – Poor

A very low level of musculature, and no evidence of any fat. Skeletal structure is very pronounced.

A cow with a body condition score of 1
A cow with a body condition score of 1

 

Score 2 – Backward

Light tissue covering over the skeleton. The backbone remains clearly distinguishable as are the rear ribs.

A cow with a body condition score of 2.

 

Score 3 – Moderate

The animal has a fair degree of muscling, but with no significant fat. Neither the backbone nor ribs are prominent. The pins are filled out but not mounded. The tubal coxa (‘hip’) remains prominent.

A cow with a body condition score of 3.

 

Score 4 – Forward

The animal is evenly- and well-covered in muscle and fat. Skeletal protuberances are all smoothly rounded.

A cow with a body condition score of 4.

 

Score 5 – Fat

The animal has obvious substantial levels of fat, some of which may be lumpy in appearance, especially around the pins and flanks. Most skeletal definition has been lost.

A cow with a body condition score of 5.

 

Photos: Jo Miller, Extension Officer (Beef), Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Charters Towers.


Managing breeder condition: Body condition score (BCS)

In this presentation, Bernie English from FutureBeef outlines the importance of breeder condition, body condition score, breeder management and how condition can be managed to maximise production from your breeding herd. 11:17 minutes published 2 April 2012 by FutureBeefAu.