Body Condition Score Chart

Body Condition Score Chart

Even experienced farmers find it difficult to assess the body condition of deer accurately by eye. The only way to accurately assess body condition is by hands-on palpation, then scoring them against a Body Condition Score (BCS) chart.  

The deer BCS chart was developed in the late 1980s by Laurent Audige and Peter Wilson at Massey University and is now regarded as an important management tool. It has also been incorporated into the Code of Welfare for Deer. Under the code, deer farmers are required to seek veterinary advice if their deer have a BCS of less than 2. Deer in this condition are considered to be emaciated and unfit for transport.
 
On a more positive note, there is good evidence to show that good hind feeding pre-mating -- shifting the BCS up by 0.5-1.0 points from say, 3 to 4 -- greatly increases first cycle conception rates and improves overall fawning outcomes.
 
This quick, simple and reliable assessment of deer condition is based on extensive research and farmer experience. DINZ encourages deer farmers to try it as part of good herd health and management. The scoring hinds as a management tool is encouraged as part of the Passion2Profit programme, because of the impact that seasonal changes in liveweight and body condition can have on deer productivity.
 
If you would like a BCS poster for your deer shed, or more information, please contact DINZ, Tel 04 473 4500 or email info@deernz.org. Copies are free of charge to industry participants.
 

Body Condition Score Chart Example