How do I condition score?

Body condition scoring is carried out by a hands-on assessment of the amount of flesh covering the loin, rump, and tail head areas. Start out by making sure you have good light, and that the animal is relaxed and standing on a level surface. It is often worth initially standing back for a ‘big picture’ overall impression.

  1. Start by feeling the short rib area, noting how the flesh follows the rib bones
  2. Run your hand along the ribs to the backbone
  3. Move down the backbone, assessing the amount of fat between and around each vertebra
  4. Run your hand away from the backbone, along the ligament to the hook bone. Assess the fat cover over the bone, and follow over the thurl to the pin bone
  5. Assess the level of ‘dishing’ between the hook and pin bones
  6. Assess the tail area, moving your hand up to the tail head to assess fat coverage
  7. Observe and feel the flesh coverage either side of the tail head and note the presence of any folds of skin