DeLaval Body Condition Scoring BCS
The BCS is the world’s first commercially available system for automatic body condition scoring. The system operates while the cows move through a fixed point in the barn or through a DeLaval VMS™.
Body condition scores are often used as a critical measure of how effective feeding is on a farm. Therefore it needs to be done accurately and at specific times in the lactation cycle. Knowing the body condition score of your cows can help you plan feeding to ensure your cows have healthy body fat reserves thus promoting milk production, reproductive efficiency and cow longevity.
DeLaval BCS eliminates the guesswork and the inaccuracies of visual and tactile evaluation. The BCS camera is mounted on a DeLaval sort gate or on DeLaval VMS™.
It takes a 3D image of your cows' lower backs every time they pass under the camera. It then calculates the body condition score of each cow and sends it to DeLaval DelPro™ Farm Manager where you can view graphs of individual animals, groups or the entire herd. DelPro Farm Manager can be set to notify you if a cow falls below a certain score.
A smarter way of body condition scoring
Traditionally, body condition scoring is done by looking at a cow and feeling it. This can lead to inaccuracies, particularly if the barn is crowded.
Body condition scoring is more accurate than weighing. Body weight varies a lot with feed and water intake, if the cow has manured or just been milked.
DeLaval body condition scoring BCS does away with the guesswork and the inaccuracies of looking at and feeling cows. It automatically measures the body condition score of every cow in your herd on a daily basis, while they are on the move in the barn.
Managed by DeLaval DelPro™ Farm Manager
The cow’s score is sent to DelPro Farm Manager where it is logged for viewing at anytime from your farm computer. Individual, group and herd information is presented in easy to read graph formats.
DelPro Farm Manager can also be set to send a notification if a cow falls below a certain score. This makes BCS ideal for farmers who manage by exception.
“If you walk by 140 cows, you don’t always see every individual and now we’re getting much more information digitally, straight into DeLaval DelPro™ Farm Manager,”
- Michael Arvidsson.
The benefits of automated BCS
Making sure your herd is healthy is quite simply, a profitable move. By consistently and regularly measuring a cow’s body condition score, a farmer can ensure that every cow is as healthy as possible through all stages of the lactation cycle.
DeLaval’s own studies project that regular scoring and optimising the score could help the farmer to:
- reduce cases of ketosis on farms by half.
- reduce the feed cost by trimming down the feed on overweight cows.
- increase milk yield from a herd where all cows have the optimum body condition.
- reduce the number of open days by bringing the body condition score back to an optimum level as soon as possible after calving and thereby returning the cow to its normal cyclical ovarian activity.
- save the farmer time and money since the need for manual body condition scoring is gone or bringing in resources such as feed advisors or veterinarians to do the body condition scoring.
- eliminates the subjective nature of scoring