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Turn Body Condition Scoring Into Routine Practice

Body condition scoring (BCS) is a practice that should be carried out at the weaning of the calf crop along with pregnancy checking and cow culling. Body Condition Scores are indicators of the cows' nutritional condition.

Body Condition Scoring uses a numerical value to estimate energy on fat reserves. The values range from 1 to 9. Cows in the lower numbers (1, 2 or 3) have less energy stores and are considered skinny. Cows with BCS scores of 4, 5 or 6 are average, and the cows in 7, 8 and 9 range can be easily recognized as fat.

Body Condition Score at calving has an important impact on the future calf crop. Mature cows should be in a BCS of 5 while first calf replacement heifers should be in a BCS of 6.

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Governor Expected to Sign Livestock Care Bill

The Hoosier livestock industry heaved a collective sigh of relief when the State Senate passed a bill that would protect Indiana animal owners from radical animal rights activists. As Bob Kraft with Indiana Farm Bureau explains, the bill puts into law who has the right to regulate animal care standards,

“It establishes clearly that the Board of Animal Health has the authority and the sole authority, to regulate standards of animal care.” Kraft noted that HB1099 was not amended by the House or Senate thus it can go directly to the Governor’s desk where he is expected to sign it.

Supported by Farm Bureau and most livestock organizations, the bill will prevent the kind of issues that have impacted the Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Missouri livestock sectors, where radical animal rights groups tried to regulate the livestock care standards,

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