Using Body Condition Score (BCS) is an easy and inexpensive way to improve the health and productivity of your beef herd, but it must be done correctly.
Body Condition Score (BCS) is an indicator of a cow’s energy reserves taken as a visual evaluation of the fat or excess poundage a cow is carrying. BCS directly correlates to forage quality, reproductive success, and overall health. While anyone can do it, it’s best done by those who have been trained, according to a UF/IFAS blog. In order to facilitate optimal BCS assessments, the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center and the South Florida Beef and Forage Program collaborated to create BCS training tools and activities. See the details below.
Training on Body Condition Score for Florida Beef Cattle
Body Condition Score assesses the health of the animal utilizing six different points on the animal and scoring it from 1 to 9. The higher the number, the more fat the animal is carrying. It was found that those who utilized BCS without training were more likely to incorrectly assess the BCS of an animal, leading to skewed data on the health of the animal.
BCS ratings will change depending on factors like breed, pregnancy, hair length, and time of year the BCS was taken. To assist beef producers and others in using BCS, the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center and the South Florida Beef and Forage Program created a free training and educational materials that will help with proper estimating.
Training participants reported indicated an increase in skills, knowledge, cow nutrition, and more as a result of the training. Find the free BCS training here.
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