Condition scoring indigenous goats

January 28, 2020

A body condition scoring system was developed for indigenous goats in Africa. Indigenous breeds are usually smaller and better adapted to the local environment.

 

Condition score is estimated by feeling the backbone in the area between the back of the ribs and the front of the pelvic bones. Research in Mexico suggests that this BCS system is suitable for some hair sheep breeds (such as St. Croix, Pelibuey, or Barbados Blackbelly) as well as for any breed of goat, as these type of animals have almost no subcutaneous fat and they keep most of their fat reserves internally or around their kidneys.

 

The methodology consists of placing a hand exactly in the middle between the ribs and pelvic bones. If the hand is placed too close to the pelvic bones the BCS will be lower than the real score. The hand will gently feel whether there is a convex (bulging) shape, a straight line, or concave (hollow) shape.

Source:  Condition scoring scheme for small east African goats in Zimbabwe. Tropical Animal Health Production (May 1989).

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Sericea lespedeza has been shown to reduce barber pole worm infections in small ruminants.