Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Body Condition Score? There’s an App for That!


Begrudgingly, farmers and ranchers are realizing that the day of the bag phone is gone and many around the region are starting to update their flip phones to smart phones.  What they’re catching up with is a world full of “apps,” or electronic applications, that are actually (surprise!) quite useful for their operations.
One such app, from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, is focused solely on a cow’s body condition score (BCS). 
According to Dr. Rick Rasby, UNL, “Body condition of a cow or of a herd is a much better indicator of their nutrition program as compared to body weight.”
Important to understand?  Yes. But how do you bring that indicator into your smart phone or device?
According to Dr. Rasby, the NUBeef-BCS app allows you to visually assess your cow herd and nutrition program by using the BCS number system that describes the amount of condition or fat reserve of the cow.  While that’s a fairly broad statement, the app actually functions in three ways:
  1. Written.  Tap into an Extension circular that discusses condition scoring.
  2. Learn.  “Sample cows” are available on the app for you to practice scoring.  See how you compare to what UNL has scored the animals at.
  3. Apply.  Once you’ve become comfortable with the app and with condition scoring, upload pictures of your own cattle to be scored.
As spring-calving cows across the region get through the last trimester, Dr. Rasby says that knowing where your herd is at condition-wise is a major asset.  “There’s a lot of data out there,” he says, “that would tie the body condition score at calving time to how quickly they’re going to cycle in the next breeding season.” 
For more on body condition scoring and the NUBeef-BCS app, CLICK HERE.


© Haylie Shipp 2015

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