BCS and Locomotion Scoring

Body Condition Scoring

Body condition scoring (BCS) is a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is very thin and 5 is very fat. Ideally cows should be scored 4 times throughout the year.

Ideal BCS:

At calving

2.5 - 3.0

60 days post calving

2.0 - 2.5

100 days before drying off

2.5 - 3.0

At drying off

2.5 - 3.0


Most cows should score between 2 and 4 with scores increasing in 0.25 increments.

How to score your cows:

Step 1: Assess the angle between hook and pins.

Step 2: Assess if hooks are rounded or angular.

Step 3: Evaluate pins.

Step 4: Evaluate the visibility of the short ribs.

Step 5: Evaluate the entire spine.

Mobility Scoring

Mobility scoring measures the prevalence of lameness in the herd. It is a simple scoring system which assesses the cows ability to move easily and does not take into account conformation. Ideally cows should be scored quarterly to assess the number of cows that are lame, subclinically lame and walking sound in the herd.

It is a four point scoring system from 0 to 3 with 3 being very lame.

0 - Have good mobility, will walk with even weight- bearing on all feet and a flat back.

1 - Have good mobility, will not walk perfectly but not obviously lame on any foot.

2 - These cows are obviously lame and will have some arching of the back. They will benefit from treatment.

3 - Obviously lame and unable to keep up with the herd. Very lame cows that require attention. They should not be made to walk far and should be housed on straw yards.

We can help you monitor both body condition and mobility scores while undertaking routine visits or as a separate visit. It’s often helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes look over your stock.