Body condition scoring is a valuable tool for managing livestock nutrition. Body Condition Score (BCS) is an estimate of the body composition of muscle and fat on cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. It can help the manager make decisions about breeding, selection, culling, marketing, and grazing management. BCS is also an indication of the level of nutrition and an estimate of the energy reserves in the animal. It can be used to evaluate both female and male animals but is especially useful and important for use with breeding females. There is a strong link between BCS and reproductive ability of an animal.
The video below should help you assess body condition of your goats, using a 1-9 scoring system. At score 1, the animal is severely emaciated and in extremely poor condition. At score 9, the animal is extremely obese. The optimum scores to achieve are 5 and 6, where the animal’s frame is covered with a balanced amount of fat and muscle, or is slightly fleshy.
There are several different body condition scoring methods available for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. All of the scoring systems for cattle and horses use the 1-9 system. Sheep and goats can use either a 1-5 scoring, or the 1-9 scoring presented in the video.
A special thanks to Roger Ingram, University of California Extension Service, for making and posting this video. NOTE: It may take a while for your computer to buffer the video; please be patient.