Body condition

Why is it measured?

Regular body condition scoring of pigs can identify suboptimal feed, health and environmental management of sows during previous lactation or during pregnancy. Good stockmanship should take into consideration the nutritional needs of every pig as serious weight loss may be difficult to regain, especially in group feeding systems. Sows with poor body condition produce litters with low birth and weaning weights and are likely to have smaller subsequent litters; they are at increased risk of shoulder lesions and may display increased stereotypic behaviour. Fat sows may suffer from leg weakness, increasing the risk of injury and are at increased risk of certain diseases including Mastitis Metritis Agalactia. 

How to assess and score using the AssureWel measure

Body condition (dry sows)                                                                                                       Individual measure
 Observation: Visually assess from the side and behind. Manual assessment can help distinguish borderline scores.

Record:
Thin 

Moderate

Fat                  


= Score 1 or 2: Ribs, backbone, ‘H’ bones and ‘pin’ bones obvious (or easily detected with pressure);
= Score 3: Ribs, backbone, ‘H’ bones and ‘pin’ bones barely visible (or barely felt with firm pressure); 
= Score 4 or 5: Ribs, backbone, ‘H’ bones and ‘pin’ bones cannot be seen (or felt even when pressure is applied) or fats deposits are clearly visible.

 R.Coffey, thepigsite.com

                   Thin                 Moderate                         Fat