Assessing the body condition score of a sheep is an easy and accurate way of checking the condition and well being of the animal. It assesses the amount of muscle and fat covering the backbone and short ribs, which gives an estimate of the amount of energy the sheep has store.

You can condition score the sheep by placing your hand on the sheep’s backbone and short ribs – the short ribs are in the loin area, between the long ribs and the hips. The score is determined by the cover of fat over the areas as well as the fullness of the muscle inbetween.

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(Image courtesy of Department of Agriculture and Food, WA)