Comparison of two methods of assessing dairy cow body condition score

Jeffrey M. Bewley, Robert E. Boyce, David J. Roberts, Michael P. Coffey, Michael M. Schutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Two body condition scoring systems were compared for assessing body condition of cows at the Scottish Agricultural College's Crichton Royal Farm. The weekly body condition scores (BCS) were collected for a period of 12 weeks (5 September-21 November). Scores were obtained using the primary systems utilized within the UK and USA. The USBCS were obtained by the same evaluator each week, while the UKBCS were obtained by two different evaluators alternating between weeks. Paired scores (n=2088) between the two systems within week were moderately correlated (r=075, P<0.0001). Regression equations to convert scores between the two systems were created using the GLM procedure of SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary NC, USA). The simple GLM models to convert from UK to US scores and US to UK scores were USBCS=1.182+0.816 * UKBCS (R 2=0.56) and UKBCS=0.131+0.681 (R2=0.56), respectively. These equations may be used to interpret scores within the literature obtained using these two BCS systems, although they must be used with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-98
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Dairy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Body condition scoring
  • International comparison

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