Main Menu
Emergency Goat Care
Help the GOATS
Goat Physiology
Goat Vital Signs
Heat Stress Goats
Goat Glossary of Terms
Goat Meds Conversions
Goat Medications
Goat Carol of the Bells
Goat Blood Values
!ALERT! Frigid Weather Care
Wind Chill Chart
Mineral Resources USA Interactive Maps
goatlady's Goats
The Story of BabyGirl
Christmas Exodus 1997
The Gift of the "Old One"
Fallen Trees
Moving Goats to MO
Dream Partner
PayPal Donate

If the information in this site has been of help to you and your goats, Donations are always welcome (and much appreciated) to help the cost of my rescue goats.. Thank you and God Bless!  goatlady
goatlady and BabyGirl
Emergency Goat Care
Is My Goat Sick?
Abscesses (CL in Goats)
Administering SQ Fluids
Anaphylactic Shock
Anemia Eye Color Chart
Bloat in Goats
BottleJaw in the Goat
Broken Goat Horn
Goat with Broken Leg
Goat Electrolytes
CMT Mastitis Test
Goat Enterotoxemia
Emergency Euthanasia Goats
How to give a Goat Injections
Goat Kidding
Goat Meds And Supplies
Goat Polio or Listeriosis?
Treating Goat Pneumonia
Poisonous Plants Cornell
Poisonous Plants (photos)
Poisonous Plants in Texas
Goat Scours
Tube Feed Adult Goat
Urinary Calculi (UC) Male Goats
What Attacked my Goat? Predation Identification
Share Goat-Link
Bookmark and Share

Goat Abortion
Kidding and Breeding
Kidding Calculator
Goat Birth Defects
Fetal Development
Goat Fetal Positions
Goat Breeding Season
Milking a Goat
Gangrene Mastitis
Contagious Agalactia
Baby Goat
Birth Chill Baby Goat
Bottle Feeding Baby Goats
Colostrum Information
Milk VS Replacers
Digestion Baby Goat
Baby Goat Scouring
Enema for Baby Goats
Disbudding Baby Goats
Goat Castration-Band Method
Goat Kids and Tapeworms
Tube Feeding A Kid Goat
Quick Kidding Pen
Water Bottles-Red Urine
Swing Baby Technique
Nutritional Milk Comparison
Pet WheelChair
Make your Own Disabled Pet Walker
Goat Parasites
Goat DeWorming Info
Goat Gastro-Intestinal Parasites
Coccidiosis in Goats
Liver Fluke in Goats
Ivomec Plus Dewormer
Safe-Guard vs Ivomec Plus
Anthelmintic Chart
Goat Parasites
External Goat Parasites
Animated Tapeworm Lifecycle
Goat External Parasites- Mites
MidAmerica Internal Parasites
Feeding & Nutrition
Goat Digestion
How to Feed Goats
Goat Minerals
Copper and Goats
Body Condition Scoring
Feeding Goats
How a Goat Digests Feed
Meat Goat Nutrition
Nutrient Requirements
US Mineral Maps
Vitamin/Mineral Functions
Nutrient Content of Milk Varieties

Blessings for Blind Dogs
Silvie Bordeaux
Bucks & Wethers
Aggressive Bucks
How to: Hold Buck for Oral Meds
(UC) Goats
Goat Pizzle Rot
Goat Castration-Band Method
Goat Articles
Goat Health Articles
Goat Terms and Symptoms
Goat Rx
Pneumonia in Goats
Myotonic Goats
Dehydration in Goats
Bloat in Goats
Make a Quick Goat Shelter
Using Formalin for CL Goats
Goat Hoof Trimming
Sore Mouth in Goats
Cornell Consultant
How to: Oral Meds- Adult Goat
How to: Oral Meds- Kid Goat
Arthritis in Goats
Biology of the Goat
Goat Shows Listings
Goat Show Supplies
Diseases Caused by Bacteria
Goat Vaccination Schedule
Vaccines Multi Use (8 Way)
Winter Care for Goats
Wind Chill Chart
Maggidan's Minis Farm Pygmy Info
Goat Surgery
Goat Surgical Procedures
Home Butchering Goats
Best of Zazzle on Pinterest
Visit my Pinterest Page
Goat-Link News

If the information in this site has been of help to you and your goats, Donations are always welcome to help with the cost of running of my rescue goats. Thank you and God Bless!

Admin CONTACT: goatlady at

Best Selling Goat Gifts by GetYerGoat™
Goat T-shirts is the internet's largest and most popular place to find goat t-shirts and gifts for goat lovers
We have over 4000 goat gifts from which to choose.

Important! Please Read This Notice!
All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. We are not veterinarians. Neither nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
PLEASE keep in mind, just because there is a DVM after the name does not mean they have the proper answers for goat owners 'Caveat emptor'- You need to find a responsible GOAT Vet


Big Bang Theory T-shirts
Body Condition Scoring Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Friday, 20 June 2008
Body Condition Scoring System
Maxine Kinne
Illustrations by Sunny Larsen


This body condition scoring was developed for the National Pygmy Goat Association in 1995 to address the unfortunate consequences of obesity and its relationship to dystocia. The Board of Directors immediately approved it for inclusion in the Judges Training Manual. To my knowledge, it has not been included, and judges are not trained to use it.

Illustrations show loin structure, the regions of the back between the ribs and hips. Descriptions are what you feel on the loin with firm fingertip pressure. Also discussed are in bones, or tuber ischii, part of the pelvis and located at either side of the vulva in does and the same location in bucks. Other versions of condition scoring describe fat padding on chest floor and how it correlates with features included in this system. Each of the five categories has a descriptive title and a score number. Padding over the ribs is never used to accurately judge body condition.


Parts of the Loin

Spinous processes are the bones felt on top of the back. Vertebral processes are the long bones horizontal to the spine. The vertebral angle is the triangle between the top of the spinous process, the edge of the vertebral process and the skin. The muscle inside this angle is the longissimus, or eye muscle, a roast or part of a T-bone steak.



1   POOR



No muscle on edges of transverse process, bones very sharp, thin skin
Vertebral angle has little muscle and is very concave
Spinous processes very prominent with no muscle in between
Sharp outline visible; no muscle between skin and bones
Very sharp, no padding

Features    Skeleton has little or no muscle. Hollows in the flanks below the loin are very concave.
Causes       Poor diet, disease, parasitism, lactation, or any combination of these.
Problems   Slow growth rate in kids; stunting in growing animals, conception failure, abortion,
                   weak or dead newborns, metabolic disease during pregnancy, very susceptible to disease.
Solutions    Better nutrition, management and herd health program. Evaluate disease status.

2   THIN




Muscle extends to the edges of transverse process, spacing can be
felt between the vertebral processes, thin skin
Outline slightly contoured; light padding but bones still somewhat
prominent and very easy to feel
Sharp, little padding

Features    Skeleton has some muscle. Hollows in the flanks below the loin are somewhat concave.
Causes      Poor diet, disease, parasitism, lactation or any combination of these.
Problems   Slow growth rate in kids and growing animals, metabolic disease, weak or dead newborns,
                  susceptible to disease.
Solutions   Better nutrition, management and herd health program. Evaluate disease status.

3   GOOD



Muscle and subcutaneous fat covers edges of vertebral process;
individual bones are somewhat distinct
Smooth, without signs of fat; pelvic bones and spine are distinct
Slight pressure needed to feel the pin bones

Features    Muscle over skeleton felt with gentle pressure. Firm pressure is not needed to feel bones.
                   Hollows in the flanks are barely concave or level with the surrounding area of the sides.
Problems   None. Maintain condition at 3 or slightly higher, depending on age and production status.


Scores 1-3 represent muscle growth/expansion
Muscle does not grow after score 3.
Scores 4 and 5 represent fat accumulation

4   FAT



Vertebral processes indistinct and firm pressure needed to feel them
Vertebral angle rounded but not yet bulging over spinous processes
Spinous process spacing difficult to detect; spine felt as a hard line
Heavily padded with fat; bones can only be felt with firm pressure
Heavily padded with fat, and firm pressure needed to feel them

Features    Very firm pressure needed to feel all bony structures.
Causes      Feeding in excess, limited exercise.
Problems   Inhibited locomotion, easily tired, orthopedic abnormalities, dystocia, metabolic disease.
Solutions   Reduce plane of nutrition, provide exercise.




Edge of vertebral processes and spacing between too fat to feel bones
Vertebral angle bulges over the level of the spinous processes
Spine lies in the center of a groove of fat
Buried in fat, bones very indistinct
Buried in fat, hard to locate

Features    Bones covered with a thick layer of fat over the muscle are very hard to feel.
Causes       Feeding in excess, limited exercise.
Problems    Inhibited locomotion, easily tired, orthopedic abnormalities, infertility, dystocia,
                   metabolic disease.
Solutions    Reduce plane of nutrition, provide exercise.

Evaluate Body Condition Score (BCS)

The term body condition refers to the fleshing of an animal. Because the greatest potential for goats is to graze them with beef cattle, we have devised a 1 to 9-point graduated scale, adapted from the beef system used in North Carolina. In that graduated scale, thin is 1 to 3, moderate is 4 to 6 and fat is 7 to 9. In most situations, goats should be in the range of 4 to 7. Scores of 1 to 3 indicate a problem, and scores of 8 to 9 are almost never seen in goats.


BCS 1 Extremely thin. Extremely thin and weak, near death.
BCS 2 Extremely thin. Extremely thin but not weak.
BCS 3 Very thin. All ribs visible. Spinous processes prominent and very sharp. No fat cover felt with some muscle wasting.
BCS 4 Slightly thin. Most ribs visible. Spinous processes sharp. Individual processes can be easily felt. Slight fat cover can be felt over the eye muscle.
BCS 5 Moderate. Spinous processes felt but are smooth. Some fat cover felt over eye muscle.
BCS 6 Good. Smooth look with ribs not very visible. Spinous processes smooth and round. Individual processes very smooth, felt with considerable pressure. Significant fat cover felt over eye muscle.
BCS 7 Fat. Ribs not visible, spinous process felt under firm pressure. Considerable fat felt over eye muscle.
BCS 8 Obese. Animal is very fat with spinous processes difficult to feel. Ribs can not be felt. Animal has blocky obese appearance.


Extremely obese. Similar to an eight but more exaggerated. Animal has deep patchy fat over entire body.


  • To monitor and fine tune nutrition program

  • To "head off" parasite problem

  • Visual evaluation is not adequate, has to touch and feel animal

Areas to be monitored

  • Tail head
  • Ribs
  • Pins
  • Hocks
  • Edge of loin
  • Shoulder
  • Back bone
  • Longissimus dorsi


  • Thin   1 to 3
  • Moderate   4 to 6
  • Fat   7 to 9


  • End of pregnancy   5 to 6
  • Start of breeding season  5 to 6
  • Animals should never have a body condition score of 1 to 3
  • Pregnant does should not have a body condition score of 7 or above toward the end of pregnancy because of the risk of pregnancy toxemia
  • A body condition score of 5 to 6 at kidding should not drop off too quickly
Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 October 2014 )
< Prev   Next >