BCS - Body Condition Score

Body Condition Scoring (BCS) is an easy method used by farmers and veterinarians to assess the body fat reserves of dairy cows 77. If cows fail to meet their ideal BCS, farmers and veterinarians should take necessary actions.

Scoring Body Condition in Dairy Cows and monitoring over time can be a challenge for vets and farmers. Not meeting the required BCS for each respective stage of lactation, can lead to loss of milk production, impaired fertility, or costly disease treatments.

New BCS Cowdition App

New BCS Cowdition smartphone application from Bayer enhances ease and accuracy of body condition scoring for dairy cows

Assessment of Body Condition Score

  • 5-point Body Condition Scoring System 1 - 5
  • scaled in half and quarter grades

BCS 1 - very lean

BCS 2 - lean

BCS 3 - good

BCS 4 - fat

BCS 5 - very fat

BCS - Watch Points

BCS - watch points
BCS - body condition score

Range of ideal Body Condition Scores

Stage of Lactation Score
Calving 3.0 – 3.75
1 month p.p. 2.5 – 3.25
Mid-lactation 2.75 – 3.25
Late lactation/Drying-off 3.0 – 3.5

Physiological fluctuation of BCS in HF cows

Physiological fluctuation of BCS in HF cows

Under-conditioned cow - increased lameness 46, 47

600 Holstein Frisian cows over 44 month:1

  • Body Condition Scoring every 2 month
  • Monthly control by claw trimmer
  • 1510 cases of lameness
    • sole ulcer (39 %)
    • sole bruising (13 %)
    • dermatitis digitalis (10 %)
    • white line disease (8 %)

Lean cows (BCS < 2,5) have a 1,5 to 2,2 higher risk of lameness due to the shrinkage of digital cushion.

Under-conditioned cow - increased lameness

Under-conditioned cow - increased lameness

* see also our references page

BCS Cowdition App

Privacy Statement BCS Cowdition App

BCS Cowdition Media Library

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Ketosis Media Library

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Tools

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For experts