Body Condition Scoring

Market goat producers need to be concerned with body condition not only in the nannies but also in the herd bucks. Body condition can mean the difference between a good kidding season and a dismal season.
A crossbred nanny grazes with her single kid.

A crossbred nanny grazes with her single kid.

Nannies that are too fat may not get bred at all. Nannies that are too thin may experience low twinning rates, low weaning weights and general reproductive failure. The best way to prevent over or under conditioned breeding animals is to use the body condition scoring method.

Body condition scoring is a fairly simple concept. With practice, a producer can become proficient in scoring nannies and bucks throughout the year. Body condition simply refers to the fleshiness of the goat. Looking at a goat does not always give a true picture of the condition of the goat. In order to do that a producer needs to physically handle the animal over several key points. The best places to handle goats for condition indicators are over the ribs, on either side of the spine and over the backbone. Body condition scores run from 1 to 5, where 1 is very, very thin and 5 is obese. Nannies should carry a body condition score of 3 at breeding in order to maximize kidding rates and ease of kidding.