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Range in body condition score (BCS) is as important as average BCS at calving on New Zealand dairy farms, according to DairyNZ.
Getting an average body condition score (BCS) of 5.0 across a herd before mating isn’t all that useful, says vet Danielle Hawkins, Vetora.
In general, all mammals use their own body reserves (fat and protein from body tissues) in early lactation, to meet the demands of milk production.
Treating second year heifers like mixed aged cows is one of the main reasons they don’t get in calf again, DairyNZ South Auckland consulting officer Jamie Haultain says.
Body condition score (BCS) will increasingly be adopted as a measure in welfare assurance schemes, so scoring must be accurate throughout the BCS range, say DairyNZ’s Chris Leach and Jacqueline McGowan.
A change will be made this month to the way body condition score (BCS) records are treated before they enter the animal evaluation (AE) system.
Assessment of a cow's body condition score (BCS) gives a visual estimate of her body fat reserves, according to DairyNZ.
An automated body condition scoring system for New Zealand-bred cows will be launched at National Fieldays next month.