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Dairy Scoring Reference Image.
Condition score Description
Fat Cow 5.00 overall appearance -
4.75 - Hook bone just visible
4.50 Flat Pin bone not visible
4.25 - Tips of transverse processes not visible
Heavy Cow 4.00 Flat U No visible sacral or coccygeal ligaments
Transverse processes just visible
3.75 - Tail head ligament not visible
Sacral ligament barely visible
Too Fat
3.50 U Coocygeal ligament barely visible
Sacral ligament visible
3.25 - Sacral/coccygeal ligaments visible
Average Cow >3.0 U Sacral/coccygeal ligaments appearance
START - Rump V or U
<3.0 V Hook and pin bone fat pads
2.75 - Hook is angular/pin padded
2.50 - Hook is angular/pin is angular
palpable fat pad on pin
Too Thin
<2.5 V Hook and pin bone angular
Look at transverse processes
2.25 - Short ribs
Transverse processe edge to spine
.5-.6 tip to spine
Thin Cow 2.00 - .75 tip to spine
1.75 - Thurl bone appearance
Spine, overall appearance
1.5 - Foreribs visible
1.25 - Bones visible
Muscle loss
Emaciated Cow 1.0 - Little muscle left

What's the cow's score?

[Cow]

Emaciated:

Thin:

Average

Heavy

Fat

Chart Reference:

Ferguson, J. D., D. T. Galligan and N. Thomsen. 1994. Principal descriptors of body condition score in holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci., 77:2695-2703.

Content questions? Dr Jim Ferguson: ferguson@cahp.vet.upenn.edu

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