Coat scores assess the coat of young animals examining hair length, fibre diameter and handle, and are measured as a visual score.
Coat scores do not need to be collected by an accredited scorer.
Recording coat score data
Coat scores are collected on a 1-7 scale based on the visual appearance of the animal. Half scores can be used to identify animals who exhibit a coat score which is intermediate to the scores listed.
All animals should be scored by the same scorer on the same day. If the scorers are changed, appropriate management groups will need to be assigned to capture variation in scorers.
When should coat scores be collected
Coat scores should be recorded when animals are between 300 and 750 days of age.
Due to the impact of seasonal conditions on the coat of an animal, it is important that animals are scored during late spring/early summer when some animals have shed their winter coat, while others have not.
For spring calving herds, animals would normally be scored as yearlings, often in association with their 400 day weight measurement.
For autumn calving herds, animals would normally be scored at ~18-20 months of age, often in association with their 600 day weight measurement.
Measurements can also be repeated during autumn if members wish to collect a score that is independent of coat shedding, before animals have started growing their winter coat.