Body Condition Scoring

Contrary to popular opinion, goats don't eat everything -- and there are some things they absolutely should NOT eat. Get all the details.
Post Reply
HerdQueen1231
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:44 pm

Body Condition Scoring

Post by HerdQueen1231 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:34 pm

When determining the condition of your goat you will need to visually and physically inspect your animal. You will need to feel three key points on the body to accurately determine condition score.
First you will place your hand on the back of your goat, the lumbar area, which is the area of the back behind the ribs containing the loin. The second is the sternum, or breast bone, and the third is the ribs and intercostal (between the rib) spaces.
Palpitate the lumbar area to feel the vertical protrusions called the spinous processes, and two horizontal protrusions called the transverse process. By running your hand over this area, try to gently grasp the processes with your fingertips and hand. Moving to the sternum and the rib cage, you must feel the amount of fat cover in each of the areas.

Body condition score (BCS) ratings
BCS 1.0 = The goat is visually emaciated and weak. The backbone is highly visible and forms a continuous ridge. The flank is hollow and ribs are clearly visible. There is no fat cover and fingers can easily penetrate into the intercostal spaces.
BCS 2.0 = The goat’s backbone is still visible with a continuous ridge. Some ribs can be seen and there is a small amount of fat cover. Ribs are still felt and intercostal spaces are smooth, but can still be penetrated.
BCS 3.0 = The backbone is not prominent, ribs are barely discernible and an even layer of fat covers the ribs. Intercostal spaces are felt using pressure.
BCS 4.0 = The backbone and ribs cannot be seen. The side of the animal is sleek in appearance.
BCS 5.0 = The backbone is buried in fat and the ribs are not visible. The rib cage is covered with excessive fat.

Resource: Michigan State University Extension https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/body_cond ... g_in_goats
Meghan Stuckey
Montana Goat Society President

Post Reply