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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies
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Body Condition Scoring: Low Cost Profit Booster

The ability to accurately Body Condition Score (BCS) cows is one of the most valuable skills a producer can acquire. As we enter breeding season, BCS of the cows will be a large determinant in achieving desired conception and pregnancy rates. Numerous studies (Selk et. Al., 1988; Pruit & Momont, 1990; Houghton et al., 1990) have shown that BCS plays a role in subsequent pregnancy rates. Cows in better condition (BCS >5) have a greater probability of breeding early and a greater chance at becoming pregnant in a 60 day breeding season. The more ideal conditioned cows (BCS 5-7) have fewer days open or a lower post-partum interval. Fewer open cow days has become a top focus of many commercial herds due to high feed costs.

If cows are thinner, we have a better chance at getting them bred if they are gaining weight. If thin cows are putting on weight, as much as a 30% boost in pregnancy rates can be seen versus a cow of same BCS losing weight. There are virtually no costs associated with learning to BCS or taking the time to appraise your cows. Taking time to access and BCS cows can be a cost-free strategy to improving profitability.

To view pictures/videos and the BCS scale visit

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