The importance of body condition scoring

For those wrapping up spring calving, breeding season is still months down the road, but John Grimes, Extension beef coordinator at The Ohio State University says the condition of those cows now will greatly impact breeding. Grimes tells Brownfield that ideally we’d like to see cows with a body condition of 5 to 6 to insure good reproductive performance.

“There’s a dramatic difference when the body condition score dips below a five,” said Grimes. “You can just about count a month difference in how quick the cow will cycle back if she’s a body condition five versus a four.”

Grimes says if cows are thin following spring calving, feeding high quality forage may not be enough to help them gain the needed weight.

“The advice I would offer is, yes, feedstuffs are very expensive, but it’s a very delicate balance that we need to follow through with our nutrition and be very objective on our body condition scoring,” Grimes said. “We don’t want fat cows, but we certainly don’t need thin cows because there are detrimental effects when it comes to reproduction.”

Audio: John Grimes, Extension beef coordinator, Ohio State University (5:55 mp3)

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