|This picture shows the areas of the cow where we look for condition. Condition is a subjective measurement of how much tissue (fat and muscle) cover the skeletal system. Along with distinguishing if the cover is fat or muscle.|
|Body Score of 2. Notice the thin nature of the cow, you can see her hip bones, ribs, back bone and front shoulder. There is very little muscle tone in her hind legs, and along her back. Her hair is also not clean and shiney looking either.|
|Body Score 5. Cows in ideal condition will have a smooth look to them, you can not see individual rib or back bones, she doesn't have a lot of fat under her neck or brisket area. She also has good muscle tone in her back legs, shoulders and back.|
|Body Score 6. She looks smooth like the 5 but there is some fat deposit around her tail, under her neck and in her flank area. Still an ideal condition.|
|Body Score 7. Starting to loose the smooth appreance and is starting to have a "bubbly" appearance. The "bubbly" parts are fat deposits and are noticable around her tail and neck/brisket area.|
At our farm/ranch we body condition score our cattle 3 times a year. We look at each cow and give her a score and them and average them together to get our herd average. We average the mature cows (3 yrs old and older) as 1 group and the first calf heifers (2 yrs old) as a separate group. We score them right before they calve (Late February), again at weaning (5-6 months later, Sept), and when check the cows for pregnancy (Late Nov/Dec). This tells us if we are doing a good job with our nutrition program. Our goals are to have the mature herd average 5.25-5.5 before calving, 5 at weaning and 5.5 at pregnancy diagnosis. The heifers we expect to see a 6 before calving, 5.25 at weaning, and back to a 5.5-6 at pregnancy diagnosis. We want the cows to put some weight back on late fall after the calves have been weaned so that they can successfully make it through our cold snowy winters while minimizing the amount of extra feed needed to keep them looking good!!