We have visited about this topic a number of times and its importance to cow performance. Body condition at calving, especially for spring-calving cows, not only impacts how cows perform at calving, but also influences performance during the next breeding season. How cows perform during the breeding season impacts profit potential in the cow/calf enterprise in regards to pregnancy rate and when in the breeding season they become pregnant. Cows that become pregnant early in the breeding season calve early in the calving season, and their calves are older and heavier at weaning. Over conditioned cows, especially if the extra condition was fed on, is wasting money. Under conditioned cows are risky because their performance can be very inconsistent. Proper conditioned cows are the goal. It’s like Goldilocks and the porridge being too hot, too cold, or just right.

Let’s refresh the condition scoring system. The most common system used is the one to nine condition scoring system. A condition score one cow is very thin and emaciated. A condition score 9 cow is very fat and obese. Very seldom do we see the extreme body condition scores. Most cows are between a condition score 3 and 7.

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