Scanning will be here before we know it, so now is a good time to decide whether you will body condition score your ewes this year. If you are new to body condition scoring, making this decision now will ensure you and your staff have time to refine your BCS skills.
Why do we Body Condition Score?
BSC has been show to directly affect:
- Scanning percentage
- Lamb birth weights and weaning weights
- Mothering ability
- Lamb survival
- Colostrum production
- Ewe death rates
- Ewe weaning weights
Body Condition Scoring can be used to help with management decisions such as:
- Culling decisions
- Mob allocation and preferential feeding
Body condition scoring is:
- More accurate than eyeballing or even weights due to differences in wool cover, frame size etc.
- Easy to do – just place your hand behind the last rib and using the tips of the fingers and thumb, feel the backbone with the thumb and the edges of the short ribs with your fingers. The scale is 1-5.
The top third of farmers tend to BCS their ewes at three key times: Weaning, Pre tupping and scanning. The target is to have the flock at a condition score of 3 or better (4 at flushing) all year round.
If you are new to body condition scoring and would like us to work with you to provide body condition score training, talk with your Vet.
For a BCS refresher via youtube.com watch Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s video here: http://bit.ly/SheepBCSdemo Or visit http://bit.ly/BSC-Module to view the B+LNZ Body Condition Scoring Module.