The body condition scoring (BCS) system for swine is very simple and is based on a five-point scale:
- Emaciated. Ribs, spine, and backbone prominent.
- Thin. Hips and backbone noticeable to the eye. Ribs can easily be felt with only slight pressure.
- Normal. Animal’s body is tube-shaped. Hips and backbone can only be felt with firm pressure.
- Fat. Bulging body. Hips and backbone cannot be felt at all.
- Overfat. Bulbous body due to obvious fat deposits. Hips and backbone thickly covered with fat.
With both boars and sows, the idea is to keep the score around 3 at all times.
In reality, however, sows will probably fluctuate slightly throughout their reproductive cycle. A BCS of 3.25 appears to ideal at breeding time. By farrowing time, the sow should score somewhere around 3.75. She should never drop below 2.5 at the end of a lactation.
Body Condition Scoring Graphic
This chart uses line drawings to make scoring swine easy to do at a glance.