Ruminant Terminologies
Ad lib feeding -  No limit placed on amount of feed intake. Self-feeding or allowing cattle to consume feed on a free-choi...
Backcross -   The mating of a two-breed crossbred individual back to one of its parental breeds. Example: A Hereford-Angus...
Bloat -  An abnormal condition in ruminants characterized by a distention of the rumen, usually seen on an animal’s upper ...
Breeder -  In most beef breed associations, the owner of the dam of a calf at the time she was mated or bred to produce th...
Buffer cow -  A cow apparently always in heat, oestrus Bullock -  A young bull, typically less than 20 months of age. Bunk...
Caesarean section -   A process in which the calf is surgically removed from the cow during parturition by making a large ...
Capped hocks -  Hocks that have hard growths that cover, or “cap,” their points Carcass evaluation -  Techniques of measur...
Contemporary group -  A group of cattle that are of the same breed and sex, are similar in age, and have been raised in th...
Creep feeding -  The practice of providing supplemental nutrients to nursing calves. This is typically done through the us...
Creep feeding -  The practice of providing supplemental nutrients to nursing calves. This is typically done through the us...
Cut a circle -   A cow boss will describe an area such as a portion of a ranch from which you will gather cattle or ride t...
De-horning -  In many places, cattlemen remove the horns from horned cattle when they are calves.  This makes them easier ...
Dogie -   (pronounced with a long "o" as in "own," not as in the pet animal named "Spot.")  ...
Earmark -   Method of marking cattle by cropping their ears in distinctive patterns.  Usually used along with a brand.  Th...
Fastiny -  Starvation due to lack of feed intake. Feed conversion (feed efficiency) -   Units of feed consumed per unit of...
Free choice -  Allowing the animal to consume as much feed as they want at any time. Freemartin -   Female born twin to a ...
Harvest -  To slaughter an animal.  Heat (estrous) synchronization -   Through hormonal manipulation, causing a group of c...
Hot carcass weight -   Weight of a carcass just prior to chilling. H I Involution -  The return of an organ to its normal ...
Kosher Meat -  Meat from ruminant animals with split hooves where the animals have been slaughtered according to Jewish la...
Long-eared, full-eared  -  Cattle that have not been earmarked.  They have their whole ears. L M Masticate -  To chew food...
Morbidity -  Measurement of illness; morbidity rate is the number of individuals in a group that become ill during a speci...
Parrot mouth -  Upper jaw is longer than lower jaw. Paunch -  Another name for rumen. Pin bones -  In cattle, the posterio...
Purebred -   An animal of known ancestry within a recognized breed that is eligible for registry in the official herd book...
R Re-ride -  To ride again, such as to check a pasture or allotment for cattle not gathered the first time. Also with refe...
R Rumination -  The regurgitation of undigested food and chewing it a second time, after which it is again swallowed. Runn...
S Settle -  To become pregnant. Serving capacity -   A measure of the motivation, willingness, and ability of a bull to de...
S St. Elmo's Fire -   The eerie glow sometimes seen on cattle's long horns during a lightning storm.  It is caused by brus...
S Switch -  The tuft of long hair at the end of the tail. T Tank -   a depression formed for the purpose of holding water,...
V Vermifuge -  A chemical substance given to the animals to kill internal parasitic worms. W Waddle -   Another method of ...
W Weedy -  Similar to "locoed", but caused by eating too much black sage or other plant instead of a normal diet...
Ruminant Terminologies
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Terminologies of Bovine

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Terminologies of Bovine

  1. 1. Ruminant Terminologies
  2. 2. Ad lib feeding - No limit placed on amount of feed intake. Self-feeding or allowing cattle to consume feed on a free-choice basis. Antemortem- Before death. Artificial insemination (AI) - The technique of placing semen from the male into the reproductive tract of the female by means other than natural service. Average daily gain (ADG) - Measurement of the average daily body weight change over a specified period of time of an animal on a feed test. A
  3. 3. Backcross - The mating of a two-breed crossbred individual back to one of its parental breeds. Example: A Hereford-Angus crossbred cow bred back to an Angus bull. Barbed Wire - (sometimes called "bobbed wire" or "barb wire" or "The Devil's Rope.") A wire used in fencing that has points at intervals to deter livestock from crossing the fence. Birth weight (BW) - The weight of a calf taken within 24 hours after birth. Heavy birth weights tend to be correlated with calving problems, along with other factors. Biosecurity - is a series of management practices designed to prevent the introduction of disease or reduce the risk of spreading disease by reducing movement of biologic organisms and their vectors (e.g. viruses, bacteria, rodents, flies) on or within operations such as a beef cattle operation. B
  4. 4. Bloat - An abnormal condition in ruminants characterized by a distention of the rumen, usually seen on an animal’s upper left side, owing to an accumulation of gases. Body capacity - A subjective assessment of the feed intake capacity of an individual or breed, typically assessed by visually evaluating body length, body depth, and spring of ribs. Bob - Method of marking cattle by trimming their tail hair. Bog spavin - A soft enlargement of the anterior, inner aspect of the hock. Branding Iron - The tool used to apply a brand. Called "iron" for short. B
  5. 5. Breeder - In most beef breed associations, the owner of the dam of a calf at the time she was mated or bred to produce that calf. Breech - The buttocks. A breech presentation at birth is where the rear portion of the fetus is presented first. British breeds - Breeds of cattle such as Angus, Hereford, and Shorthorn originating in Great Britain. Brockle-faced - White-faced with other colors splotched on the face and head. Broken-mouth - Some teeth are missing or broken. Brahmini bull - The bull that are left in the name of dead person which is a practice prevailing in certain parts of country. B
  6. 6. Buffer cow - A cow apparently always in heat, oestrus Bullock - A young bull, typically less than 20 months of age. Bunk breaking - The process of acclimating calves to consume feed from a bunk or other feeder. Bunker silo - Pit or bunker for storage of corn or grain silage or alfalfa or grass haylage in which it is reserved by fermenting after packing. Buttons - May refer to cartilage or dorsal processes of the thoracic vertebrae B
  7. 7. Caesarean section - A process in which the calf is surgically removed from the cow during parturition by making a large incision in the right side of the cow just above the flank. Calf crop - The number or percentage of calves produced within a herd in a given year relative to the number of cows and heifers exposed to breeding Calving ease - The opposite of calving difficulty. An easy calving is one that does not require assistance and does not impose undue strain on the calf or dam. Calving season - The season(s) of the year when the calves are born. Limiting calving seasons is the first step to performance testing the whole herd, accurate records, and consolidated management practices. C
  8. 8. Capped hocks - Hocks that have hard growths that cover, or “cap,” their points Carcass evaluation - Techniques of measuring components of quality and quantity in carcasses. Carcass merit - Desirability of a carcass relative to quantity of components (muscle, fat, and bone), USDA quality grade, plus potential eating qualities. Cattalo - A cross between domestic cattle and bison. Closed herd - A herd in which no outside breeding stock (cattle) are introduced. C
  9. 9. Contemporary group - A group of cattle that are of the same breed and sex, are similar in age, and have been raised in the same management group (same location on the same feed and pasture). Contemporary groups should include as many cattle as can be accurately compared. Continental (European) breed - Breeds originally developed on the continent of Europe. Examples include Simmental, Limousin and Charolais. Corriente - cattle of non-descript breeding usually from Mexico. Often used in the U.S. for recreational-roping cattle. Cow-calf operation - A management unit that maintains a breeding herd and produces weaned calves. C
  10. 10. Creep feeding - The practice of providing supplemental nutrients to nursing calves. This is typically done through the use of gates or exclosures which allow the calf to enter an area where the feeder is located but not the cow. Critter - often in speaking of cows or horses a cowboy calls them a "Critter." Other animals can also be critters Cud - Bolus of feed a ruminant animal regurgitates for further chewing. Culling - The process of eliminating less productive or less desirable individuals from a herd. Curb - A hard swelling that occurs just below the point of the hock. C
  11. 11. Creep feeding - The practice of providing supplemental nutrients to nursing calves. This is typically done through the use of gates or exclosures which allow the calf to enter an area where the feeder is located but not the cow. Critter - often in speaking of cows or horses a cowboy calls them a "Critter." Other animals can also be critters Cud - Bolus of feed a ruminant animal regurgitates for further chewing. Culling - The process of eliminating less productive or less desirable individuals from a herd. Curb - A hard swelling that occurs just below the point of the hock. C
  12. 12. Cut a circle - A cow boss will describe an area such as a portion of a ranch from which you will gather cattle or ride to check on land and animals. C D Dairy Producer - The farmer who owns or runs a dairy farm. Dairy - The farm where milk cows are kept. Dark cutter - Color of the lean (muscle) in the carcass that has a dark appearance, usually caused by stress to the animal before slaughter.
  13. 13. De-horning - In many places, cattlemen remove the horns from horned cattle when they are calves. This makes them easier to handle and less likely to hurt each other. This practice became popular when cows began to be transported more often by truck and rail and needed to be confined in small spaces. Dewclaws - Hard bony structures above the hoof on the rear surface of the legs of cattle, swine and sheep. Dewlap - Another method of marking cattle similar to a waddle. A dewlap is formed by cutting a piece of skin so that it will grow into a distinctive hanging mark in a certain location. Used in conjunction with brands and earmarks. D
  14. 14. Dogie - (pronounced with a long "o" as in "own," not as in the pet animal named "Spot.") A calf with no mother. Term used more often in Texas. Derived from the Spanish word "dogal" meaning a short rope used to keep a calf away from its mother during milking. Double muscling - A genetic trait in cattle where muscles are greatly enlarged rather than duplicate muscles. Downer - Term for animals that are disabled due to illness or injury. Drench- To give fluid by mouth. Drive - Method of rounding up cattle by scattering cowboys over the range and pushing the cattle to one place. Drop - Body parts removed at slaughter-primarily hide, head, shanks, and offal. D
  15. 15. Earmark - Method of marking cattle by cropping their ears in distinctive patterns. Usually used along with a brand. The earmark patterns are also registered with the brand. Earmark on the cow at the right is read as an "under half slope on the left ear." (as viewed by the reader) Earmarks can often be seen quicker than a brand (because the cow usually looks at you) and are a good aid in recognition and when sorting cattle. Ear Tag - Method of marking cattle (or other animals) by attaching a tag to their ears. Often vaccinations, breeding, and herd identification are information that are recorded using the tag numbers. (Negative side to this is that the tags can pull out and be lost.) Eruction - The elimination of gas by belching. E
  16. 16. Fastiny - Starvation due to lack of feed intake. Feed conversion (feed efficiency) - Units of feed consumed per unit of weight gained or (less commonly in the United States) production of meat or milk per unit of feed consumed. First cut - the choice pick of the group. Flehmen - A pattern of behavior expressed in some male animals (e.g., bull, ram, stallion) during sexual activity. The upper lip curls up and the animal inhales in the vicinity of the vulva or urine. Footrot- A disease of the foot in sheep and cattle. Founder - Nutritional ailment resulting from overeating. Lameness in front feet, with excessive hoof growth, usually occurs. F
  17. 17. Free choice - Allowing the animal to consume as much feed as they want at any time. Freemartin - Female born twin to a bull calf (approximately 9 out of10 will be infertile). F G Gestation - The period of pregnancy or the period of time from conception until young are born, averaging about 285 days in cattle. H Half-sibs - Individuals having the same sire but different dams (or less commonly the same dam but different sires). Half-brothers, half-sisters, or half brother/sister.
  18. 18. Harvest - To slaughter an animal. Heat (estrous) synchronization - Through hormonal manipulation, causing a group of cows or heifers to initiate estrous cycles at approximately the same time. Heiferette - A heifer that has calved once, after which the heifer is fed for slaughter; the calf has usually died or been weaned at an early age. Hides - Skins from animals such as cattle, horses, and pigs; beef hides weigh more than 30 lb each as contrasted to calf skins, which weigh less. Horn iron - The old way to help heal the horn base after de-horning was to cauterize the horn stub with a hot iron. H
  19. 19. Hot carcass weight - Weight of a carcass just prior to chilling. H I Involution - The return of an organ to its normal size or condition after enlargement, as of the uterus after parturition. A decline in size or activity of other tissues; the mammary gland tissues normally involute with advancing lactation J Jerk - A gather of, or trip through, a small piece of country. Term often used in rough country where cattle are hard to gather.
  20. 20. Kosher Meat - Meat from ruminant animals with split hooves where the animals have been slaughtered according to Jewish law. K L Lactation - The period of calf nursing between birth and weaning Leppy - An orphaned calf. Sometimes also used referring to a young cowboy who is inept in cowboy ways. Locoed - horses and cattle become addicted to the eating of Loco weed, thereby causing the victim to become thin; with injury to eyesight, muscular control and brain; causes an abnormal growth of hair on the mane and tail of horses - on cattle an extra increase of hair on flanks.
  21. 21. Long-eared, full-eared - Cattle that have not been earmarked. They have their whole ears. L M Masticate - To chew food. Mavericks - wild cattle that haven't been branded and never been gathered. Sometimes in remote, rough country the animal has been untouched by the cowboys for quite a while and the older the animal becomes, the more unmanageable it gets. Monoparous - A term designating animals that usually produce only one offspring at each pregnancy. Horses and cattle are monoparous.
  22. 22. Morbidity - Measurement of illness; morbidity rate is the number of individuals in a group that become ill during a specified time. Mortality rate - Number of individuals that die from a disease during a specified time, usually 1 year. Mouthed - The examination of an animal’s teeth. M N Necropsy - The examination of an animal after death. O Open - A term commonly used to indicate a non-pregnant female.
  23. 23. Parrot mouth - Upper jaw is longer than lower jaw. Paunch - Another name for rumen. Pin bones - In cattle, the posterior ends of the pelvic bones that appear as two raised areas on either side of the tail head. Polled - Naturally hornless cattle. Having no horns or scurs. Postpartum- After birth. Prepotent - The ability of a parent to transmit its characteristics on its offspring so that they resemble that parent, or each other, more than usual. Probe - A device used to measure backfat thickness in pigs and cattle. P
  24. 24. Purebred - An animal of known ancestry within a recognized breed that is eligible for registry in the official herd book of that breed. P R Railer(s) - Cattle which fail to respond to treatment. Rangeland - Land on which the indigenous or native vegetation (climax or natural potential) is predominantly grasses, grasslike plants, forbs, or shrubs and is managed as a natural ecosystem. Rataque - Fence made by laying mesquite logs or sticks between posts. Red meat - Meat from cattle, sheep, swine, and goats, as contrasted to the white meat of poultry.
  25. 25. R Re-ride - To ride again, such as to check a pasture or allotment for cattle not gathered the first time. Also with reference to riding a bronc or bull in a rodeo, if the animal does not buck as should be expected, the rider is given a different horse or bull in the hopes they can score their best. Regurgitate - To cast up digested food to the mouth as is done by ruminants. Rodeo - roundup, today a contested event. Rodear - To gather and work cattle out of a herd held by riders, such as in a fence corner where there is no corral. Roundup - The spring and fall gathering of cattle on the ranges in order to brand and ear-mark the calves, wean, sort for ownership and cut out those wanted for shipment to market.
  26. 26. R Rumination - The regurgitation of undigested food and chewing it a second time, after which it is again swallowed. Running Iron - Ring or flat iron used to draw a brand rather than stamp it on. S Scrotal circumference - A measure of testes size obtained by measuring the distance around the testicles in the scrotum with a circular tape. Related to semen producing capacity and age at puberty of female sibs and progeny. Scrub bull - A non-descript type of strong village bull Scurs - Horny tissue or rudimentary horns that are attached to the skin rather than the bony parts of the head
  27. 27. S Settle - To become pregnant. Serving capacity - A measure of the motivation, willingness, and ability of a bull to detect and service females in estrus. Shrink - Loss of weight-commonly used in the loss in liveweight when animals are marketed. Sibs - Brothers and sisters of an individual. Shelly Cow - An old cow, usually in poor condition. Slick - A horse or cow with no brand, earmark, or other identification of ownership.
  28. 28. S St. Elmo's Fire - The eerie glow sometimes seen on cattle's long horns during a lightning storm. It is caused by brush like discharges of atmospheric electricity and commonly accompanied by a crackling or fizzing noise. The light was so named because St. Elmo is the patron saint of Mediterranean sailors, who regard St. Elmo's fire as the visible sign of his guardianship over them. Stocker - Weaned cattle that are fed high-roughage diets (including grazing) before going into the feedlot. Stray - an animal found strayed away from its owner or from the range where it belongs. Something some people do not understand is that often cattle from several neighboring ranches become mixed up during the season and need to be sorted and sent back to the proper homes. This is the reason proper branding and marking are so important.
  29. 29. S Switch - The tuft of long hair at the end of the tail. T Tank - a depression formed for the purpose of holding water, usually natural water such as rain water or intermittent stream water. Used mostly in the southwest. Thoroughpin - A hard swelling that is located between the Achilles tendon and the bone of the hock joint. Tripe - Edible product from walls of ruminant stomach. Twist - Vertical measurement from top of the rump to point where hind legs separate.
  30. 30. V Vermifuge - A chemical substance given to the animals to kill internal parasitic worms. W Waddle - Another method of marking cattle. A waddle is formed by cutting a piece of skin so that it will grow into a distinctive hanging mark in a certain location. Used in conjunction with brands and earmarks. The example shows a neck waddle. Waddles and dewlaps often are more visible than brands in cold weather country where the winter hair obscures the brand, and are useful for quick recognition and sorting. Watusi - African breed of cattle, dating their ancestry back 6000 years and called the "cattle of kings." Useful today in the United States, not only for their striking appearance, but for low birth-weight calves.
  31. 31. W Weedy - Similar to "locoed", but caused by eating too much black sage or other plant instead of a normal diet and causing malnutrition, often effecting an animal's mind and thinking. Works - another term for roundup, used mainly in the southwest. (for example: spring works, fall works) Y Yardage - Charges incurred each day that the cattle are in the feedlot. These charges vary depending on the lot. Yardage is usually expressed on a cents per head per day basis.
  32. 32. Ruminant Terminologies
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