This is a very broad overview of terms I use on the Ranch. I will add more as I think of them.
A.I. – artificial insemination
Average daily gain – pounds of liveweight gained per day
Balling gun – a tool used to discharge pills into the animal’s throat.
Birth weight – the weight of the calf taken within the first 24 hours of birth
Birth weight EPD – The expected average increase of decrease in birth weight of a bull’s calves when compared with other bulls in the same sire summary.
Bloat – abnormal conditions characterized by a distention of the rumen, usually seen on the left side, due to the accumulation of gas.
Bloom – a haircoat that has luster that gives the appearance of a healthy animal.
Bolus – a large pill for treating cattle; you use a balling gun to administer.
Bos indicus – zebu (humped) cattle, including the Brahman breed. They tolerate heat and insects well.
Bos Taurus – European breads that tolerate the cold, such as Hereford, angus.
Brand – a permanent identification of cattle usually made on the hide with a hot iron or freeze brand.
Bred – a cow that has mated with a bull and is pregnant.
Brucellosis – a contagious bacterial disease that results in abortions; also can be called bang’s disease.
Bull – a male bovine, usually of breeding age.
Bulling – when a cow is in heat or estrus.
Calf – a young male or female bovine under 1 year of age.
Calve – to give birth.
Castrate – to remove the testicles
Cod – scrotal area of a steer remaining after castration.
Colostrum – the first milk given by a female cow following the delivery of a calf. It is high in antibodies that protect the calf from invading microorganisms.
Conditioning – Treatment of cattle by vaccination and other means prior to putting them in a feedlot.
Cow – an adult female
Cow/calf operation – a segment of the cattle industry that manages and produces weaned calves.
Crossbred – animal produced by crossing two different breeds, for example a Brahman and Angus is a Brangus.
Cud – bolus of feed that cattle regurgitate.
Cull – to eliminate one or more animals from your herd.
Dewlap – the flap of loose skin under the chin and neck of cattle.
Direct sales – selling cattle directly to one ranch to another, from ranch to feedlot, or ranch to packer.
Dressed beef – carcasses from cattle.
Ear mark – a method of permanent identification by which slits or notches are placed in the ear.
Ear tag – a method of identification by which a numbered, lettered, or colored tag is placed in the ear, like an earring.
EPD – expected progeny difference, one-half of the breeding value in the sire or dam. The difference in expected performance of future progeny of a sire, when compared with that expected from future progeny of bulls in the same sire summary.
Embryo transfer – transfer of fertilized egg(s) from donor female to one or more recipient females.
Eviscerate – the removal of internal organs during the slaughter process.
Feed bunk – trough or container used to feed cattle.
Feeder – Cattle that need further feeding prior to slaughter or a producer that feeds cattle.
Feedlot – a segment of the industry in which cattle are fed grain and other concentrates for usually 90-120 days then slaughtered.
Finish – Degree of fatness of an animal or the completion of the last feeding phase of slaughter cattle.
Finished cattle – Fed cattle ready for slaughter.
Freemartin – female born twin to a bull (usually these heifers will never conceive).
Grass tetany – Disease of cattle marked by staggering, convulsions, coma, and death that is caused by a mineral imbalance (magnesium) while grazing lush pasture.
Heifer – a young cow, one that has never had a calf.
Hot carcass weight – the weight of the carcass just prior to chilling.
Ionphore – antibiotic the enhances feed efficiency by changing microbial fermentation in the rumen.
Liver flukes – parasitic flatworm in the liver.
Marbling – flecks of intramuscular fat distributed in muscle tissue.
Mastitis – inflammation of the udder.
Natural beef- beef that has not been fed growth stimulates or antibiotics.
Open – non pregnant females
Offal – the organs and tissue removed from the cattle during the slaughter process
Pasture rotation – the rotation of animals from one pasture or field to another so that a field or pasture have no livestock grazing on them during a certain period of time.
Pay weight – the actual weight for which payment of the cattle is made. Usually the actual weight minus the shrink.
Polled – naturally hornless
Preconditioning – preparations of feeder calves for selling and shipping, can include vaccinations, castration, training the calves to eat from a feeder or drink from a trough.
Primal cuts – the wholesale cuts of beef. It can include: round, loin, flank, rib, chuck, brisket, plate and shank.
Progeny – offspring, calves
Quality Grades – grades used in the beef industry to rate the beef; for example – prime, choice, select.
Ration – the feed fed to an animal in a 24 hour period
Replacement heifers – heifers, usually between the ages of 10 – 16 months, that are kept to replace old cows in the breeding program.
Ruminant – a mammal whose stomach has four parts – rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum Cattle, sheep, goats, and elk are some examples.
Scours – profuse, watery diarrhea from the intestines.
Seedstock – breeding animals like bulls. Used interchangeably with purebred.
Shrink – loss of weight. Usually expressed in percentage of liveweight to account for fill (food and water). It is usually around 3 to 4%.
Steer – a male that has been castrated before puberty
Subcutaneous – an injection below the skin of an animal.
Tagging- when we place tags in the ears of the cattle for identification purposes.
Vaccination – when we administer a vaccine or shot.
Weaner – a calf that has been weaned or is near weaning age.
Weaning weight – the weight of the calf when it is removed from the cow.
White muscle disease – muscular disease caused by a deficiency of selenium or vitamin E.
Yearling – animals that are one year old.