Body Condition Scoring

Hand-out for Goat Health Workshop – Animal Crackers

Body Condition scoring evaluates the fat reserves of your goat.  It helps you evaluate your feeding program and adjust your ration accordingly.  Especially important times to evaluate body condition in does are

  1. prior to breeding and
  2. right before the last trimester of pregnancy. 

It is important to gage the body condition of your bucks a month or so before breeding season starts and to keep an eye on kids throughout their growing period. Body condition scoring also helps you decide if your slaughter goats are ready to market depending on your customers’ desires.  

Score 1

Body condition is very lean

• Skin drawn tight over pelvis with no tissue detectable in between
• Pinbones, hips and short ribs easily seen. Edges feel sharp

Score 2

Body condition is lean

• No fatty tissue felt between skin and pelvis, but skin is supple
• Ends of short ribs are sharp to the touch, but individual ribs can no longer be seen. While bones are less prominent, they are still angular and can be easily distinguished by touch

Score 3

Body condition is moderate

• Area between pinbones has smoothed out
• Ends of short ribs can be felt with moderate pressure. Slight depression visible in loin area. Hips and pinbones can be felt but have some covering of flesh. Back has lost angularity and appears smooth

Score 4

Body condition is fat

• Patches of fat are apparent under the skin. Pelvis is felt only with firm pressure.
• Short ribs cannot be felt even with firm pressure. No depression visible in line between backbone and hipbones. Back and area between hips and pins appear smooth

Score 5

Body condition is very fat

• Tail head is buried in fatty tissue. No part of pelvis is felt even with firm pressure
• Area between pinbones and tailbone rounded with skin distended