Body condition score and locomotion score help to predict reproductive and health performances of dairy cattle

Title: Body condition score and locomotion score help to predict reproductive and health performances of dairy cattle

Authors: DNN Madushanka, VM Ranasingha, AMS Bandara, WRAS Mayurawansha and MPS Magamage

Source: Ruminant Science (2016)-5(2):179-186.

Cite this reference as: Madushanka DNN, Ranasingha VM, Bandara AMS, Mayurawansha WRAS and Magamage MPS (2016). Body condition score and locomotion score help to predict reproductive and health performances of dairy cattle. Ruminant Science 5(2):179-186.


The present study was conducted to elucidate the applicability of body condition score (BCS) and locomotion score (LMS) to predict the reproductive and health performance of cows in intensive manage dairy herd in upcountry dairy farm in Sri Lanka. BCS and LMS were scored using 1 to 5 point score system. Forty three (n=43) pregnant cows and forty six (n=46) early lactating cows were selected for the study. Fertility was measured from farm records based on conception rate and length of postpartum anestrus of the selected herds. BCS level 2 to 4 has shown the lowest postpartum length. Under the given conditions, BCS<2 level has shown 70.75±4.09 days of post-partum length, where BCS 2-4 level has shown 34.4±2.15 days of post-partum anestrus length. This was the lowest recoded postpartum anestrus length during the study period. Low LMS was also associated with the lowest post-partum length compared to other groups (56.29±5.29 in LMS<2, 47.16±5 in LMS >2, 36±1.15 in control). There was significant (P<0.0075) effect of BCS on retained placenta condition. LMS has significant (P<0.0098) impact on retained placenta condition. There was no significant effect (P>0.2547) of body condition score on dystocia. A significant effect (P<0.0163) of lameness condition was observed on dystocia. Higher lameness condition score has shown significant effect (P<0.0098) on increasing incidents of endometritis. Poor body condition score has recorded significant effect to the lowering conception rate (P<0.0026). In conclusion, BCS and LMS have direct relationship with the reproductive performance and herd health parameters of dairy cattle, therefore the BCS and LMS can be effectively used to predict the reproductive performance in dairy cattle in the herds under intensive management system.


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