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A feasibility study on the automatic recording of condition score in dairy cows

  • M. P. Coffey (a1), T. B. Mottram (a2) and N. McFarlane

Extract

The use of body tissue by dairy cows to support lactation is increasing, since selection has led to cows that can eat only around half of their incremental feed requirements per unit increase in genetic merit for milk production (Veerkamp et al., 1995). Continuing with this selection policy is likely to result in increasing use of body tissue to fuel milk production and to lead to thinner cows with associated health and fertility problems. This has created increasing interest in body condition scoring (CS) in dairy cows as both an important management tool and also for use in selection indices. The ability to automatically record CS would increase the use of this measure in farm management and enable large volumes of data to be collected for use in national evaluations.

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References

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Lowman, B. G., Scott, N. and Somerville, S. 1976. Condition Scoring of Cattle. Bulletin No. 6. East of Scotland College of Agriculture, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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