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Table 1 Description of assessment criteria for individual components of the BCS in Mediterranean buffaloes (ribs, spine, hips, and tail) according to Ezenwa et al. [36] modified

From: Assessment of foot health and animal welfare: clinical findings in 229 dairy Mediterranean Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) affected by foot disorders

Region of body
Score Ribs Spine Hips Tail
5
(Obese)
Not visible; fatty layer on and between ribs Spine bones not visible. Spine sits in slight depression between fatty bulges left and right of spine Convex, smooth rear, hip bones not visually apparent Tail base sits in depression surrounded by soft fatty tissue
4 Few ribs visible towards abdomen; ribs can be felt Spine bones not visible. Spine feels flat; bone and surrounding tissue are on level Hip bones can be seen, round smooth appearance and feel Tail base on level with surrounding fatty tissue
3
(Ideal)
Some ribs visible in center of ribcage; abdominal ribs feel ridged Spine palpable as a slightly elevated bone center-line Points of hips distinctly visible; bone easy to feel but not protruding Tail base protrudes slightly; obvious by touch, but not by sight
2 Ribs visible throughout; all have ridged feel Individual spinal vertebrae clearly palpable Points of hips protrude; flanks are concave Tail base visibly sticks up from surrounding tissue
1
(Emaciated)
Ribs clearly visible with deep depressions between them; very ridged feel Vertebrae distinguishable by sight and touch Hip bones protrude beyond the hip point; emaciated rear Tissue surrounding tail base forms round hollow defined by pelvis