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Association between Body Condition Score and Liveweight in Pasture-based Holstein-Friesian Dairy Cows

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 18:19 authored by Berry, DP, Macdonald, KA, Penno, JW, Roche, JR
The objective was to quantify the strength of the relationship between body condition score (BCS) and live weight (LW) in pasture-based Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle, and to determine the kg LW per unit BCS. A total of 26021 test-day records with information on both BCS (1-10 scale, where 1 is emaciated and 10 is obese) and LW across 1110 lactations from one research farm were used in the analysis. Correlation and regression analyses were used to determine the degree of association between BCS and LW in different parities, stages of the inter-calving interval and years. Correlations between BCS and LW were relatively consistent, with the mean correlation between BCS and LW across all data of 0.55 implying that differences in BCS explain approximately 30% of the variation in LW. Significantly different regressions of LW on BCS were present within stage of inter-calving interval by parity subclasses. Excluding calving, LW per unit BCS varied from 17 kg (early to mid lactation in parity 1) to 36 kg (early lactation in parity 4 and 5). However, LW per unit BCS was greatest at calving varying from 44 kg in first parity animals to 62 kg in second parity animals. On average, 1 BCS unit equated to 31 kg LW across all data. © Proprietors of Journal of Dairy Research 2006.


Publication title

Journal of Dairy Research










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Cambridge University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Dairy cattle

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania