Body Condition Scoring Your Beef Cow Herd

Editors Note: This comes to us from the University of Nebraska Lincoln's Beef website. Thanks to Dr. Rick Rasby for his excellent explanations! The body condition score of your cow herd is a much better indicator of the effectiveness of the nutrition program than body weight of the cows or average weight of the cow herd. Body condition scores (BCS) describe the relative fatness or body condition of a cow herd through the use of a nine-point scale. A body condition score five (BCS 5) cow is in average flesh and represents a logical target for most cow herds. A BCS 1 cow is extremely thin while a BCS 9 cow is extremely fat and obese. Body condition score (BCS) of beef cows at the time of calving has the greatest impact on subsequent rebreeding performance (Table 1). The postpartum interval is the length of time from calving to first estrus (heat) after calving. For a cow to maintain a 365 day calving interval, she must rebreed by 82 days after calving (283 day gestation + 82 day postpartum interval = 365 days). On the average, cows that calve in a BCS 3 or 4 have difficulty exhibiting their first heat by 80 days a

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4 thoughts on “Body Condition Scoring Your Beef Cow Herd

  1. The Google Play link above appears to be broken, and so are some of UNL’s links. UNL has renamed the app – You can find it by searching “Body Condition Beef Cattle” by The University of Nebraska in Google Play. Not sure if it would be under the same name in iTunes.

  2. I also purchased this app, but unfortunately it was $4.99 on the Google Play Store. More unfortunate than that, it will not even open on my phone 🙁 I just wanted to warn all the other On Pasture readers that they should ensure the program works on their device within two hours of purchasing to receive a refund from Google, I did not and am regretting it. I do hope the developer fixes this soon as I would love to get better at accessing the BCS.

    1. Kevin, I’ve forwarded your comment to the folks at UNL so that they can take a look at the tech issues. Perhaps there’s an update or something they can adjust to make things work out.

  3. I purchased this, and I like it so far. I’m going to score and save my own cows’ information in the next few days. It is well worth the 99c it costs.

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