Body condition scoring handbook

Dairy Australia’s body condition scoring handbook is a complete guide to monitoring and managing your herd’s body condition.

The main sections of the booklet are listed below:

Why body condition score your herd?           Fertility, milk production, health and welfare
What is body condition scoring?  The 1 to 8 condition scale
Body condition targets  Targets at calving, mating and drying-off
How to body condition score a cow

 2-step “hands-off” scoring method

Key points to observe on the cow, Flow chart, Pictures




Get your eye in first  Scoring some cows “hands-on” to calibrate your eye
When and why to score your herd  Seasonal/split calving herds, Year-round calving herds
How many cows to score  Seasonal/split calving herds, Year-round calving herds
Where to score cows  In the paddock or in the dairy at milking
Recording body condition scores  Using recording sheets
Recording body condition scores  Using smartphone app
What to do if results are off target

 Actions to consider immediately

Actions to prevent happening again




Additional energy inputs needed for BCS gains  Lactating cows or dry cows
Benefits from achieving BCS targets  Reproductive performance, milk production

  • Request a hard copy of the handbook - To request a hard copy of the Dairy Australia ‘Cow body condition scoring handbook’ contact Dairy Australia.