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Fat or skinny? Body Condition Scoring

By:    Carolyn Eddy
    "Sweet Goat Mama"



This time of year its hard to tell whether or not 
those fuzzy goats are fat enough. Here's a quick 
no-brainer way that only requires you put your hands
on the goat to tell. This scores the goat from 1 to 3 
and, while not really complex helps you make an 
instant assessment.
First: Run your finger across the ribs parallel to t
he ground and the spine. Start at the front of the ribs
about where the goat's barrel starts to round back in.
(Approx. 4-6 inches from the spine on a small kid up 
to about 8-12 on a larger goat.
Then, take one hand and make a fist. Then with the 
other hand, run the index finger of the other hand
along three places on the fisted hand.
1. Just above the back of the hand on the fingers, 
(Where a ring would sit if you were wearing one on 
each finger). This will feel very bumpy, as you 
will hit over and between each finger.
2. On the back of the hand just below where the fingers
are attached and just below the knuckles. Remember
you are still making a fist. This should feel very smooth.
3. Across the back of the hand just above the
wrist. Unless you are very thin, you should feel no bumps.
After checking each spot on your hand, compare it
to your feeling on the ribs. If it matches the first,
the goat is too thin. If it matches the second the goat
is about right, maybe slightly thin but healthy. If it 
matches the third the goat is on the verge of too fat.
If you can't feel any bumps at all, it's diet time.
The beauty of this method is that you can apply
it quickly as you walk through the barn. The only way
to tell if a fuzzy goat is fat enough is with your hands.
You can do this with every goat a couple of times
a week and see if problems are building or if it's 
just right. And you need no special equipment, in fact,
after you get good at it you can just run the finger on 
the ribs and you will know if the goat is losing,
gaining, or staying the same.
By:    Carolyn Eddy
    "Sweet Goat Mama"

Copyright by The Goat Source 2006