Ways & How

How to Judge Dairy Cows

How to Judge Dairy Cows

Becoming a dairy cow judge can be an exciting experience. It is interesting to evaluate the conditions of the dairy cows involved and rate them according to their ranks. An individual who finds enjoyment in raising dairy cows will be the best person to know how to judge dairy cows. If you want to learn more about it, here are some simple guidelines:

  1. You must study the physical characteristics of a dairy cow. A show judge must be an expert in evaluating a cow’s physical characteristics. It is important that you can easily identify its different parts. In the same manner, you can quickly evaluate the weak and the good cattle — this is the basic thing to consider in judging. You may perform research on the Internet if you desire to master the complete anatomy of a cattle — this can help you in judging.

  2. Do your own research and further studies from magazines or the Internet. You may compare different breeds and then analyze and identify your ideal dairy cow. If you have formulated your own ideal cow, use it as your basis in judging.


  3. Keep in mind the categories that need particular scoring in judging the cows. You must be detailed in examining each part of it to formulate a fair judgment.  Evaluate carefully the cow’s frame, legs, body capacity, udders and other desirable traits. Each of these components can accumulate some points in this cattle competition.

  4. Be familiar with the scoring card usage. The score cards show ratings in numerical forms, and the percentages vary according to categories. For example, if you are judging the physical characteristic of a dairy cow, the score points will range from 0 up to 15. The cow’s udders have the highest weight in scoring a dairy cow. The points range from 0 up to the highest point of 40. Cow’s udders are the most significant to evaluate in judging a dairy cow; this category is the measure of a farmer’s profitability in terms of producing quality milk. Tally the scores from each category to get the total score – the one with the highest total score will be the winner.

  5. Give yourself enough time to learn the ethics, rules and procedures of the show to be a competent judge. Experience is the key to becoming a professional dairy cow judge. Keep attending cattle events and be keen to learn the correct terminologies and the program formats used for judging. Study the Show Ring code of ethics, which was formulated by the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association for additional knowledge. The association aims to protect the breeders. They are also responsible for selecting and endorsing high quality dairy cattle for their consumers.

  6. Attend more local cattle shows. Visit the organizing committee to get some updates about their cattle shows and contests. You may tell them that you are interested in participating as a volunteer – this is a practical way to get involved with their activities. While at the show site, try to make your own score card and do your own judgments - and then compare your score with the official tally by the professionals. By doing this, you are practicing your ability for judging cattle shows.

A dairy cattle judge must respect the ethics and rules of the cattle show. It is helpful to have hands-on experience with raising cattle. Begin your journey by becoming active in participating in various cattle shows to develop your skills and own strategies on how to judge dairy cows.


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