Dairy Cow & Beef Cattle Definitions, Terminology & Slang

May 15, 2017

Dairy Cow & Beef Cattle Definitions, Terminology & Slang

Source: Leap Auctions, LLC


Artificial insemination (A.I.): A technique to impregnate a female without the natural aid of the male of the species.
Birth Weight (BW): The calf’s weight at birth.
Bovine Quantitative Trait (QTL): A tool to estimate traits like mild production, growth, and tenderness of the meat.
Branding: A permanent mark, utilized to identify animals. Fire branding and freeze branding are the most common methods.
Bull: Male cattle of any age.
Calf: Either male or female cattle offspring under the age of 1 year.
Calving Ease (CE): The ease of giving birth to a calf.
Carcass Weight (CW): Expressed in pounds.
Cow: Female cow over the age of 3 years.
Closed Herd: A group of cattle raised without the influence of outside cattle.
Crossbred: 2 different breeds of cattle’s offspring.
Dam: Mother of any offspring.
Dehorning: The application of removing a cattle’s horns.
Downer Cow: A cow that cannot stand for any reason.
Embryo Transfer: The act of removing embryos from a high quality donor cow and placing them in a less desirable host cow.
Expressed Sequence Tags (EST): Used for locating and mapping genes, a short strand of DNA that is connected to the DNA molecule that acts as an identifier of a gene.
F1: 1st generation of offspring resulting in the mating of a purebred bull and a cow of another breed
Fat: Fat thickness of the 12th rib.
Fat Cattle: Cattle, both male and female, that is ready for slaughter.
Freemartin: Heifer calf born with a bull calf; usually sterile and occur 9 of 10 twin births.
Heifer: Female cow under the age of 3 years.
Marbling (MB): The flecks of fat that is found within the lean muscle tissue; enhancing the flavor and juiciness.
Milk: The pre-weaning performance of the calf.
National Cattle Evaluation (NCE): Where nearly all purebred beef cattle organization perform a genetic evaluation of carcass, growth, and maternal traits.
Open Cow: An female cow that is not pregnant.
Pedigree: The record lineage of the parents of a given individual.
Polled: Cattle naturally void of horns.
Progeny: All offspring.
Purebred: A recognized breed of any animal eligible for registration.
Registered: A purebred animal that is recognized and logged by breed association.
Rib Eye Area (REA): Measured in squared inches.
Sire: Male parent.
Springer: Female cattle near calving.
Stag: A castrated male after secondary sex characteristics are developed.
Steer: A castrated calf before secondary sex characteristics are developed.
Wean: When the offspring are taken from their mothers to become no longer dependent on milk for sustenance.
Weaning Weight (WW): Expressed in pounds, the adjusted weaning weight.
Yearling: Animal between the ages of 1 year and 2 years.
Yearling Weight (YW): Expressed in pounds, the adjusted weight at 1 year of age


Other Common Cattle Abbreviations
CED – Daughters Calving Ease
CWT – 100 pounds of weight
FM – Feedlot Merit: Extra dollars based on pounds gained from WW to YW.
FT– Fat Thickness: The lower the FT the leaner the beef is.
GL – Gestation Length
GM – Grid Merit: Extra carcass value in dollars.
MB – Marbling: a determinant of the USDA quality grade.
MK – Milk: Important if you retain replacements.
SC – Scrotal Circumference
ST – Stay-ability: The ability of the cow to produce a calf past the age of 6.
TM – Total Maternal

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