A Body Condition Scoring System for Bali Cattle

  • Soares, F.S. (Faculty of Agriculture, Universidade Nacional de Timor Leste) ;
  • Dryden, G. McL. (Dryden Animal Science, Summerholm)
  • Received : 2011.03.18
  • Accepted : 2011.05.11
  • Published : 2011.11.01


Live weight, body length, hip and shoulder heights, heart girth, and metatarsal length were measured on 100 one to two years old Bali (Bos javanicus) bulls. Multiple regression of these measurements on live weight gave a prediction equation involving heart girth and body length (prediction $R^2$ = 0.845). These measurements were also used to derive several frame scores (FS). Live weight (Lwt) divided by FS was used as an index of body condition. Lwt/(length+hip height) was normally distributed and highly correlated with other normally-distributed condition indexes. This index was used to define five body condition scores. These were used to develop a five-point body condition scoring system in which the amount of fleshing over the vertebral processes, ribs, hindquarters, tail head, hooks, at the top of the neck, and the shoulders, the development of wrinkles in the skin above the hock and the neck, and the size of the dewlap, were used to describe the different body condition scores. Animals of score 1 had prominent hooks, shoulders, vertebrae and ribs, and hollow hindquarters and flat tailhead. Score 5 animals had rounded hindquarters, well-filled upper hind legs, small mounds of soft tissue were apparent on the tailhead, their hooks, necks, shoulders, vertebrae and ribs were well covered, and the dewlap was prominent.


  1. de Freitas, J. E., Jr., V. R. Rocha Jr., F. P. Renno, M. T. P. de Mello, A. P. de Carvalho and L. A. Caldeira. 2008. Effect of body condition score at calving on productive performance of crossbred Holstein-Zebu cows. Brazilian J. Anim. Sci. 37:116-121.
  2. Delgado, R., J. G. Magana, C. Galina and J. C. Segura. 2004. Effect of body condition at calving and its changes during early lactation on postpartum reproductive performance of Zebu cows in a tropical environment. J. Appl. Anim. Res. 26:23-28.
  3. Domecq, J. J., A. L. Skidmore, J. W. Lloyd and J. B. Kaneene. 1995. Validation of body condition scores with ultrasound measurements of subcutaneous fat of dairy-cows. J. Dairy Sci. 78:2308-2313.
  4. Apple, J. K., J. C. Davis, J. Stephenson, J. E. Hankins, J. R. Davis and S. L. Beaty. 1999. Influence of body condition score on carcass characteristics and subprimal yield from cull beef cows. J. Anim. Sci. 77:2660-2669.
  5. Ayres, H. R. M. Ferreira, J. R. de Souza Torres-Junior, C. G. Borges Demetrio, C. G. de Lima and P. S. Baruselli. 2009. Validation of body condition score as a predictor of subcutaneous fat in Nelore (Bos indicus) cows. Livest. Sci. 123:175-179.
  6. Berry, D. R., F. Buckley and R. Dillon. 2007. Body condition score and live-weight effects on milk production in Irish Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. Animal 1:1351-1359.
  7. Bhakat, M., C. Singh and N. R. Chowdhry. 2008. Prediction of body weight on the basis of body measurements in Karan Fries cows and Murrah buffaloes. Indian J. Anim. Res. 42:116-118.
  8. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Domesticated Ruminants. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Vic.
  9. Earle, D. F. 1976. A guide to scoring dairy cow condition. J. Agric. Vic. 74:228-231.
  10. East of Scotland Agricultural College. 1976. Condition Scoring of Cattle. Bulletin No. 6 (revised edn). East of Scotland Agricultural College, Edinburgh.
  11. Enevoldsen, C. and T. Kristensen. 1997. Estimation of body weight from body size measurements and body condition scores in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 80:1988-1995.
  12. Ezanno, P., A. Ickowicz and R. Lancelot. 2005. Relationships between N'Dama cow body condition score and production performance under an extensive range management system in Southern Senegal: calf weight gain, milk production, probability of pregnancy, and juvenile mortality. Livest. Prod. Sci. 92:291-306.
  13. Ferguson, J. D., D. T. Galligan and N. Thomsen. 1994. Principal descriptors of body condition score in Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 77:2695-2703.
  14. Graham, J. F. 1982. The effect of body condition of beef cows at calving and post calving nutrition on calf growth rate and cow fertility. Anim. Prod. Aust. 14:309-312.
  15. Grainger, C. and A. A. McGowan. 1982. In: Dairy Production From Pasture (Ed. K. L. McMillan and V. K. Taufa). New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Hamilton, NZ. pp. 135-171.
  16. Gregory, N. G., J. K. Robins, D. G. Thomas and R. W. Purchas. 1998. Relationship between body condition score and body composition in dairy cows. N.Z. J. Agric. Res. 41:527-532.
  17. Hady, P. J. and L. L. Tinguely. 1996. Precision of body condition scores obtained under commercial conditions. Agri-Practice 17:10-13.
  18. Hoedemaker, M., D. Prange and Y. Gundelach. 2008. Relationship between BCS pattern antepartum and metabolic parameters, fertility and health in dairy cows. Tieraerztliche Umschau 63: 299-306.
  19. Hoedemaker, M., D. Prange and Y. Gundelach. 2009, Body condition change ante- and postpartum, health and reproductive performance in German Holstein cows. Reprod. Domest. Anim. 44:167-173.
  20. Jilek, F., P. Pytloun, M. Kubesova, M. Stipkova, J. Bouska, J. Volek, J. Frelich and R. Rajmon. 2008. Relationships among body condition score, milk yield and reproduction in Czech Fleckvieh cows. Czech J. Anim. Sci. 53:357-367.
  21. Kempster, A. J. 1981. Fat partition and distribution in the carcasses of cattle, sheep and pigs: a review. Meat Sci. 5:83-98.
  22. Kleibohmer, C., W. Heuwieser, J. Bergmann and A. Ochsmann. 1998. Body condition scoring - exactness and learning the method. Prakt. Tierarzt 79:50-61.
  23. Kristensen, E., L. Dueholm, D. Vink, J. E. Andersen, E. B. Jakobsen, S. Illum-Nielsen, F. A. Petersen and C. Enevoldsen. 2006. Within- and across-person uniformity of body condition scoring in Danish Holstein cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 89:3721-3728.
  24. Ledger, H. P. 1959. A possible explanation for part of the difference in heat tolerance exhibited by Bos taurus, and Bos indicus beef cattle. Nature (Lond.) 184:1405-1406.
  25. Mantysaari, P. and E. A. Mantysaari. 2008. Relationship of body measurements and body condition score to body weight in modern Finnish Ayrshire cows. Acta Agric. Scand. Sect. AAnim. Sci. 58:170-178.
  26. Markusfeld, O., N. Galon and E. Ezra. 1997. Body condition score, health, yield and fertility in dairy cows. Vet. Rec. 141:67-72.
  27. Morris, S. T. P. C. H. Morel and P. R. Kenyon. 2006. The effect of individual liveweight and condition of beef cows on their reproductive performance and birth and weaning weights of calves. N.Z. Vet. J. 54:96-100.
  28. National Research Council. 2000. Nutrient requirements of beef cattle. 7th rev edn update. National Academies Press, Washington, DC.
  29. Ndlovu, T., M. Chimonyo, A. I. Okoh, V. Muchenje, K. Dzama and J. G. Raats. 2007. Assessing the nutritional status of beef cattle: current practices and future prospects. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 6:2727-2734.
  30. Nicholson, M. J. and Butterworth 1986. A guide to condition scoring of Zebu cattle. International Livestock Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa.
  31. Nicholson, M. J. and A. R. Sayers. 1987. Repeatability, reproducibility and sequential use of condition scoring of Bos indicus cattle. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 19:127-135.
  32. Northcutt, S. L., D. E. Wilson and R. L. Willham. 1992. Adjusting weight for body condition score in Angus cows. J. Anim. Sci. 70:1342-1345.
  33. Ozkaya, S. and Y. Bozkurt. 2009. The accuracy of prediction of body weight from body measurements in beef cattle. Arch. Tierz. 52:371-377.
  34. Reis, G. L., F. H. M. A. R. Albuquerque, B. D. Valente, G. A. Martins, R. L. Teodoro, M. B. D. Ferreira, J. B. N. Monteiro, M. D. E. Silva and F. E. Madalena. 2008. Prediction of live weight based on body measurements in crossbred animals Holstein/Gir. Cienc. Rural 38:778-783.
  35. Robins, C., R. Stockdale, J. Crosby and J. Morton. 2003. The condition magician. Body Condition Scoring in Dairy Herds, 2 edn. Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Melbourne.
  36. Roche, J. R., P. G. Dillon, C. R. Stockdale, L. H. Baumgard and M. J. VanBaale. 2004. Relationships among international body condition scoring systems. J. Dairy Sci. 87:3076-3079.
  37. Sloniewski, K., I. L. Mao, J. Jensen and P. Madsen. 2005. Changes in body weight and frame and its genetic variation during the productive life of dairy cows. Acta Agric. Scand. Sect. A-Anim. Sci. 55:128-136.
  38. Soeroso 2004. Performans Sapi Jawa Berdasarkan Sifat Kuantitatif dan Kualitatif. Masterate Thesis, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang.
  39. Ulutas, Z., M. Saatci and A. Ozluturk. 2002. Prediction of body weights from body measurements in East Anatolian Red calves. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 72:878-881.
  40. Wildman, E. E., G. M. Jones, P. E. Wagner, R. L. Boman, H. F. Trout and T. N. Lesch. 1982. A dairy cow body condition scoring system and its relationship to selected production variables in high producing Holstein dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 65:495-501.
  41. Wright, I. A. and A. J. F. Russel. 1984. Partition of fat, body-composition and body condition score in mature cows. Anim. Prod. 38:23-32.
  42. Yan, T., C. S. Mayne, D. C. Patterson and R. E. Agnew. 2009. Prediction of body weight and empty body composition using body size measurements in lactating dairy cows. Livest. Sci. 124:233-241.

Cited by

  1. Applicability of Age-Based Hunting Regulations for African Leopards vol.7, pp.4, 2012,
  2. Hair coat characteristics and thermophysiological stress response of Nguni and Boran cows raised under hot environmental conditions vol.61, pp.12, 2017,
  3. ) in tropical northern Australia using thiafentanil, etorphine and azaperone combinations vol.97, pp.1-2, 2019,