Body Condition Scoring (BCS)

Body condition scoring is a very useful management tool for establishing the different nutritional needs of beef cows. The system uses scores to establish the energy reserves within the cow. Reproductive performance is related to body condition score, it’s therefore an important part of ensuring the efficiency and profitability of the beef cow herd.

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

Target BCS:

At mating

2.5 - 3

At calving

2.5 - 3

At housing

2.5 – 3.5 (Depending on calving period)


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