Visual aspect of the goat: Emaciated and weak animal. The backbone is highly visible and forms a continuous ridge. The flank is hollow. Ribs are clearly visible. There is no fat cover and fingers easily penetrate into intercostal spaces (between ribs).
The spinous processes of the lumbar vertebrae can be grasped easily between the thumb and forefinger. The spinous processes are rough, prominent and distinct, giving a saw-tooth appearance. Very little muscle and no fat can be felt between the skin and the spinous process. There is a deep depression in the transition from spinous to transverse processes.
The hand can easily grasp the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae which are very prominent. Clearly half of the length of the transverse processes is discernible.
Sternal fat can be easily grasped between thumb and fingers and moved from side to side. The cartilage and joints joining ribs and sternum are easily felt.
To compare these BCS side-by-side, go to http://www2.luresext.edu/goats/research/bcs.html
Reference: Detweiler, G., T. Gipson, R. C. Merkel, A. Goetsch, and T. Sahlu. 2008. Body Condition Scores in Goats. Pages 127-133 in Proc. 23rd Ann. Goat Field Day, Langston University, Langston, OK.