Dairy nutrition is about understanding the nutrient requirements of dairy cows at various stages of lactation and combining various feed alternatives to meet those needs in a cost-effective manner.

The six major components of feed: water, carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals supply the animal with the water and nutrients needed for maintenance, milk production, reproduction, condition gain, activity, and growth.

Nutrition is monitored by body condition score information. Managing body condition score is all about managing your herd’s nutrition and lactation programme. Condition scoring at critical times throughout the year lets you know if you need to consider changing herd nutrition or shortening lactation of some cows.

Effective management of body condition over the whole season improves herd reproductive performance, cow health and milksolids production.

Body condition scoring

Body condition scoring (BCS) is the assessment of the amount of fat covering the bones of a dairy cow, regardless of her body size.

Body condition score targets at calving


Mature cows should calve at a BCS of 5


Heifer & rising 3 year old should calve at a BCS of 5.5


There should be no more than 15% of the herd above or below these targets

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