Body Condition Scoring for Goats

– tatiana Stanton

Body Condition Scoring (BSC) tries to evaluate the fat reserves of a goat rather than the goat's muscle (meat) content.  It helps a farmer evaluate their feeding program and adjust rations accordingly.  Important times to evaluate body condition in does are 1) prior to breeding and 2) right before the last trimester of pregnancy.  It is important to gage the body condition of bucks a month or so before breeding season starts and to keep an eye on kids throughout their growing period. Another very important role of body condition scoring is helping farmers decide if their slaughter goats are properly finished or over-conditioned depending on your customers' specifications. 

Score 1 (Body condition is very lean).  Animal is emaciated and health is threatened.

Score 2 (Body condition is lean.  Does will benefit from flushing if ready to breed and need more fat cover prior to kidding.  Slaughter goats will not dress out as optimally as a Score 3 animal, but may have better feed efficiency)

Score 3 (Body condition is moderate)

Score 4 (Body condition is fat)

Score 5 (Body condition is very fat). Animal's long term health is being compromised.  Feed costs to get this heavy were probably pretty high and inefficient although animal may now be easy to maintain.  Does may be more susceptible to low birth weights in kids, dystocia, and ketosis.

 Please view the photos below for examples of body condition scores 1 through 4. 
More information on body condition scoring is available from the American Institute for Goat Research.
Body Condition Scoring

Body Condition Score 1


Body Condition Score 2


Body Condition Score 3                                              Body Condition Score 4