Body Condition Scoring (BCS) of sheep is a quick and simple management tool to assess the body reserves of sheep throughout the year. Ensuring the animals are in target condition at key timings throughout the reproductive cycle offers benefits such as:
Condition scoring is a physical rather than visual examination of sheep. Flocks are often made up of different breeds which have varying frame sizes, fleece cover and genetics, and sheep may have gut fill or a full fleece. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to assess the body reserves of a mature sheep visually. Physically handling the sheep at key timings throughout the year allows flock managers to alter management and nutrition depending on the body reserves of the sheep. Monitoring ewes at every handling gives the flock manager knowledge and time to make changes.
Feeding in-lamb ewes to maintain or gain condition during mid pregnancy to meet lambing body condition score (BCS) targets of 3.5 and 2.5 (lowland and hill ewes respectively) will directly impact the success of lambing.
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