Friday, May 17, 2024
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Body Condition Scoring For Goats

Goat Body Condition Score Cover
This is a large file (11.2 mb) thanks to all the pictures. So if you have a slow connection be patient. The pictures are well worth the wait!

Body Condition Scoring is a means of putting a number to the fleshiness of an animal. The number isn’t so important in and of itself. It just allows you to match the health of your animals to what their performance might be. Does that are too skinny (BCS 1-2) do not breed back as easily, have difficulty kidding, produce weak kids with high mortality rates and produce less milk. Those that are too fat (BCS 5) may produce lots of milk and healthy kids, but they’re more likely to have difficult births, and you’ll have spent a lot of money on feed to get to that point. Tracking Body Condition Score is also a great way to know when your meat goats are reaching the specs that your customers like most.

Langston University’s E. (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research put together the video below as well as a fact sheet with great pictures that you can use to score your herd. It’s something you can print off and take to the barn with you as you lay hands on your animals to make sure that you’re doing the best together that you can. That way you can go for that “Goldilocks Goat:” Not too fat, not too thin, but JUST right!

And for our tablet readers, here’s the link.

Editors Note: A really great way to learn more about goats and the goat business is to attend the Goat Field Days that the Institute holds each year. This year’s field day is scheduled for April 25 at the Langston University Goat Farm in Langston, OK. This year they’ve invited experts to talk about “Taking Control of Marketing.” Kathy spoke at a Field Day some years back and was really impressed by the facility, the Langston faculty, and the quality of work being done there. If you can manage to get there, it’s well worth the effort! Learn more here.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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