Date of this Version
This NebGuide describes feeding and management practices that allow the producer to control body condition throughout lactation and the dry period.
Body condition score is a critical measure of a dairy feeding system's effectiveness. Adequate body fat reserves promote milk production, reproductive efficiency, and herd longevity. Excessively fat cows or overly thin cows run much greater risks of metabolic problems, lower milk yield, poor conception rates, and dystocia (difficult calving). Failure to attain proper body condition or rapid changes in body condition score during early lactation may indicate problems in herd health or feeding management.