Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Joao H. C. Costa


Body condition scoring is a technique used to noninvasively assess fat reserves. It provides an objective estimate to describe the current and past nutritional status of the dairy cow and has been associated with increased disease risk and breeding success. Traditionally body condition scores are taken manually by visual appraisal on a 1 to 5 scale, in one-quarter increments. However, recent studies have shown the potential of automating the body condition scoring of cows using images. The first objective was to estimate the likelihood of disease development and breeding success, using odds ratios, associated with body condition score scored automatically at various points in lactation. The second objective of our research was to use a commercially available automated body condition scoring camera system to monitor body condition across the lactation period to evaluate differences between stratified parameters and to develop an equation to predict the dynamics of the body condition score. We found that poor body condition score at different times during the transition period are associated with increased disease occurrence and lower reproductive success. Automated body condition scoring (ABCS) curve during lactation was influenced by many factors, such as parity, ABCS at time of calving, disease occurrence, and milk production.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Dairy Science Commons