Body Condition Scoring - Horses and Ponies

Canadian  Code  of  Practice  for  Equines

   BCSl


   WHOLE BODY

Poor condition

Extremely emaciated

No fat tissue felt


   NECK


   Bone structure visible 


   WITHERS


   Bone structure easily visible


   BACK


   Spinous processes project prominently 


   TAIL HEAD


   Tail head, point of the buttocks and point of the hip project prominently


   RIBS


   Project prominently


 SHOULDER


 Bone structure easily noticeable

Appendix D

  BCS2

  WHOLE BODY

  Very thin Emaciated


   NECK


   Bone faintly discernible 


   WITHERS


   Bone structure faintly noticeable 


   BACK


   Spinous processes prominent

   Slight fat covering over base of spinous processes 

   Transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae feel rounded


   TAIL HEAD


 Prominent


   RIBS


 Prominent 


 SHOULDER


 Faintly discernible


   BCS3


  WHOLE  BODY


Thin


 
  NECK


Accentuated 


WITHERS


Accentuated 


BACK


Fat build up halfway on spinous processes, 

but easily discernible

Can't feel transverse processes


  
TAIL HEAD


Prominent but individual vertebrae can't be visually identified

Point of the hip rounded, but easily discernible

Point of the buttocks not distinguishable



   RIBS


   Slight fat cover Individual ribs discernible 


   SHOULDER


   Accentuated

Appendix D

  BCS4


  WHOLE BODY


Moderately thin 


NECK


Not obviously thin 


WITHERS


Not obviously thin 


BACK


Negative crease along back 


TAIL HEAD


Prominence depends on conformation

Fat palpable

Point of the hip not discernible 


RIBS


Faint outline discernible


   SHOULDER


   Not obviously thin


  BCS5


  WHOLE BODY

  Moderate condition 

  NECK

  Blends smoothly into body 


WITHERS


Rounded over spinous processes 


BACK


Back is level 


TAIL HEAD


Fat around tail head beginning to feel spongy 


RIBS


Individual ribs can be felt, but not visually distinguished 


SHOULDER


Blends smoothly into body



dix D

  BCS6


  WHOLE BODY

   Moderately fleshy 

   NECK

   Fat beginning to be deposited 

   WITHERS

   Fat beginning to be deposited 

   BACK

   May have slight positive crease down back 

   TAIL HEAD

   Fat around tail head feels soft 

   RIBS 

   Fat over ribs feels spongy


   SHOULDER 



   Fat beginning to be deposited

Point-of-shoulder not discernible


  BCS7


  WHOLE BODY

   Fleshy 

   NECK

   Fat deposited along neck 


WITHERS


Fat deposited along withers 


BACK


May have positive crease down back, behind shoulder


   TAIL HEAD


   Fat around tail head is soft



  
RIBS


   Individual ribs can be felr Noticeable fat fillings between ribs 



   SHOULDER


   Fat deposited behind shoulder


Appendix D

  BCS 8


  WHOLE BODY

   Fat - Fat deposited along inner buttocks 

   NECK

   Noticeable thickening of neck 


   WITHERS

   Area along withers filled with fat


 
  BACK

   Positive crease down back 

   TAIL HEAD

   Tail head fat very soft 

   RIBS

   Difficult to feel individual ribs


  
SHOULDER

   Area behind shoulder filled in, flush with body 


   BCS9


   WHOLE BODY

   Extremely fat

Fat along inner buttocks may rub together Flank filled in flush


   NECK


   Bulging fat


  
WITHERS 


   Bulging fat 


   BACK


   Obvious positive crease down back


  
TAIL HEAD


   Building fat around tail head 


   RIBS


Patchy fat appearing over ribs 


SHOULDER


Bulging fat

Appendix E

Body Condition Scoring - Donkeys and Mules

  BCS1


  NECK AND SHOULDERS

   Neck thin, all bones easily felt

  Neck meets shoulder abruptly, shoulder bones

easily felt, angular


  WITHERS


   Dorsal spine of withers prominent and easily felt


  RIBS AND BELLY


  Ribs can be seen from a distance and felt with ease

  Belly tucked up


  BACK AND LOINS 

   Backbone prominent, can feel dorsal and transverse processes easily


  HINDQUARTERS


   Hip bones visible and felt easily (hock and pin bones)

Little muscle cover

May be cavity under tail


Appendix E

  BCS2


  Neck and Shoulders


  Some muscle development overlying bones

  Slight step where neck meets shoulders


  WITHERS


   Some cover over dorsal withers
  Spinous processes felt but not prominent


  RIBS AND BELLY


   Ribs not visible but can be felt with ease


  BACK AND LOINS


  Dorsal and transverse processes felt with light pressure

  Poor muscle development either side midline


  HINDQUARTERS


  Poor muscle cover on hindquarters, hip bones felt with ease


  BCS3


  NECK AND SHOULDERS


Good muscle development, bones felt under light cover of muscle/fat

Neck flows smoothly into shoulder, which is rounded


  WITHERS


   Good cover of muscle/fat over dorsal spinous processes, 

  withers flow smooth into back 


  RIBS AND BELLY


   Ribs just covered by light layer of fat/muscle,

   ribs can be felt with light pressure

   Belly firm with good muscle tone and flatfish

   outline


  BACK AND LOINS


  Cannot feel individual spinous or transverse processes

Muscle development either side of midline is good


  HINDQUARTERS


  Good muscle cover in hindquarters, hip bones rounded in appearance, 

  can be felt with light pressure


Appendix E

  BCS4


  NECK AND SHOULDERS


   Neck thick, crest hard, shoulder covered in even fat layer


  WITHERS


  Withers broad, bones felt -with firm pressure


  RIBS AND BELLY


  Ribs dorsally only felt with firm pressure, ventral ribs may be felt 

  more easily

  Overdeveloped belly


  BACK AND LOINS


Can only feel dorsal and transverse processes 

with firm pressure

Slight crease along midline


  HINDQUARTERS


   Hindquarters rounded, bones felt only with firm pressure

  Fat deposits evenly placed


  BCS5


  NECK AND SHOULDERS


   Neck thick, crest bulging with fat and may fall to one slide

 Shoulder rounded and bulging with fat


  WITHERS


   Withers broad, unable to feel bones


  RIBS AND BELLY


  Large, often uneven fat deposits covering dorsal and possible ventral 

  aspect of ribs 

  Ribs not palpable 

  Belly pendulous in depth and width


  BACK AND LOINS


  Back broad, unable to feel spinous or transverse processes

Deep crease along midline, bulging fat either side


  HINDQUARTERS


   Cannot feel hip bones, fat nray overhang either
   side of tail head, fat often uneven and bulging.

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