Assessing Dairy Cow Body Condition Score Remotely — And Why it Matters

How often do you assess a dairy cow’s body condition score? Sure, you’re looking at your cows everyday, but changes like weight loss can go unnoticed exactly because you see them every day — the change may be too subtle to pick up on.

Why would you want to be assessing and recording body condition score? For one thing, it’s closely tied to fertility, says Nancy Charlton, with DeLaval. Cows that lose less weight in the 60 days post-calving are quicker to get back in calf, and that’s just one impact of maintaining ample fat cover.

See all of our coverage of the Canadian Dairy Xpo here — including the full speaker sessions!

In this video filmed at the Canadian Dairy Xpo at Stratford, Ontario, Real Agriculture’s Bernard Tobin asks Charlton why more farmers haven’t typically tracked body condition score, what the research says about the measurement’s link to herd health and, once you’ve started collecting the data, who should be accessing it to make decisions. From there, Charlton gives a tour of the DeLaval body condition score software and camera set up, so that those dairy farmers who’d like to can begin to assess body condition score automatically and often.

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