To be controlled on a regular basis at certain stages (dry off period, calving, 30 days lactation period, prior to insemination) the body condition of dairy cows is an indicator to ensure good reproduction results and a good level of lactation. A visual score (from 0 to 5) allows to estimate the body reserves of the cow to face its needs.
Score 0 given to a very thin and skinny cow and score 5 given to a very fat cow. For example, prior to insemination, a mark of 2.5 is a good indicator to optimize insemination.
Just like rectal palpation for reproduction diagnosis, body condition or back fat measurement can be done with more reliability and very rapidly by ultrasonography.
These measurements are done with a linear rectal probe, this is the same probe used for reproduction.
This is very quick with IMAGO and EXAGO since the back fat measurement is automatic.
Given the ultrasound image resolution of our scanners, it is easy to identify the back fat thickness on a dairy cow.
Moreover, there is a correlation between the ultrasound measurement and the visual score : Ultrasound measurement divided by 10 + 1
Thus, a measurement of 25mm is the equivalent of a 3.5 score (25/10 + 1 = 3.5)