Mature cow body condition assesses the body condition of mature females, and are measured as visual scores.
Recording mature cow body condition score data
Mature cow body condition scores are collected using a 0-5 scoring scale based on the visual appearance of the animal.
Half scores (i.e. 1.5,2.5,3.5,4.5) can be used to identify animals who exhibit a body condition, which is intermediate to the scores listed.
In a “normal” Angus beef herd, where the cows have raised a calf to 200 days prior to weaning, it would be expected that the majority of animals would have a score of 2, 2.5 or 3, with a small percentage of animals receiving scores above 3. Weaning is typically the time of lowest condition score in the production cycle of the cow.
All cows should be scored by the same scorer on the same day. If scorers are changed, appropriate management groups will need to be assigned to capture the variation in scorers.
When should mature cow body condition be collected?
Mature cow body condition scores should be taken when the 200 day weights for the progeny of the females are recorded, which will normally be at, or near the time of weaning.
Measurements can also be repeated at the start of joining and pre-calving for any members who are willing to collect multiple measurements throughout the year.