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Body Condition Score in Commercial Dairy Cows

Body condition score (BCS) is a known risk factor for cow health and well-being. Many different BCS scales and systems for assessment exist;while the scales used for assessing BCS vary, differences in how BCS is assessed (i.e., visual versus visual plus tactile) and the extent of training and experience of the assessor (i.e., professional linear classifiers versus producers) also contributes to the underlying variability. Registered dairy cows globally are routinely assessed for linear type traits which describe biological extremes in the morphological attributes; BCS and a correlated trait angularity are within this suite of traits assessed. These lineartype data are used to generate estimates of genetic merit (predicted transmitting ability), but how these estimates manifest themselves as phenotypic differences when assessed by producers on commercial multiparous cows has never been quantified. To evaluate this, 58 440 phenotypic BCS records from 48 823 lactations in 38608 cows were used.



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