New BCS Fact Sheet Explains Seasonal Differences in Scoring Beef Cows

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Key areas for palpating cows.

Key areas for palpating cows when body condition scoring.

AMES, Iowa – Body condition scoring is an easy trait to record and is strongly correlated to cow productivity. But don’t overlook the value of body condition scoring your cattle multiple times throughout the year. A new four-page publication from Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University has the info you need to do that.

IBC extension program specialist Beth Reynolds is one of the publication authors. She said utilizing a BCS helps producers consistently evaluate the nutritional status of their cow herd, which is powerful knowledge when sourcing feed on a budget.

“This factsheet walks you through the importance of body condition and the value of assigning a BCS to animals in your herd frequently,” she said. “It also explains the key differences to note when calling a BCS in the winter compared to the summer months.”

The publication, Evaluating Body Condition of Beef Cows In Winter, IBC 0140, is available as a free pdf download on the Iowa State Extension Store.


The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit

Beth Reynolds, extension program specialist, 515-294-9881,


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