Tanzania Veterinary Journal

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Methods Of Body Condition Scoring System: An Important Management Decision Support Tool For Resource-Poor Smallholder Dairy Farmers In Tanzania

ES Swai, P Kyakaisho, MS Ole-Kawanara3


Body condition scoring (BCS) using 5-point scale with half point divisions was
performed on 179 crossbred dairy cows in Amani Division, Tanga region, Tanzania, during the period of November 2003. The overall mean ± SE body score was 2.60 ± 0.04 and majority of the cows (59.3%) had a body score ranging from 2.5 to 3.0. Results of univariate regression model revealed that BCS was significantly (p<0.05) affected by body weight (BWT) and none of the other farm and animal level variables were related to body condition
score. The correlation coefficient between the body condition score and body weight was estimated at β=0.007. It was postulated that BWT is a useful predictor of BCS. Body condition scoring is a simple and easy technique, which allows subjective assessment of an animal\'s body composition to help in adopting appropriate management strategy. Therefore, body condition scoring procedures may be recommended to dairy extension agents, dairy producers, and indigenous cattle keepers, country wide for a rational cattle feeding management decision.

Tanzania Veterinary Journal Vol. 24 (2) 2007: pp. 112-122

AJOL African Journals Online