Condition scoring is a technique used for assessing the body condition of livestock at regular intervals. The purpose of this booklet is to show how the simple technique of body condition scoring can contribute significantly to good husbandry and management of dairy cows. This will help to ensure that the cow is in the correct condition for each stage of her annual cycle and that appropriate dietary changes can be made in order to correct any deficiencies.
For dairy cows the crucial periods are at calving and during early lactation. Achieving correct body condition at calving is important in order to avoid calving difficulties and losses. While in early lactation it is important to prevent excessive weight loss when meeting the extra nutritional demands of high yielding cows.
The technique links together three major factors:
- Good Welfare
- Good Husbandry
- Good Performance