When raising cattle or looking to get into the business it helps to know the lingo. Here we discuss some of the most common terms used in the cattle business.
Bull– An intact male able to be used for breeding purposes.
Heifer– A young female that has not yet had her first calf.
Steer– Castrated male animal.
Cow– A female who has had a calf already.
Feeder Calf– Young cattle that have been weaned and growing.
Calf– Young animals that can be either male or female.
Feedlot– A place where cattle are fed to finishing weights prior to slaughter.
Replacement– A female being raised to enter the breeding herd.
Stocker– A young animal not yet ready for the feedlot.
Back-grounding– The process of taking young feeder/stocker calves and raising them to weights/age ready to be placed in the feedlot for finishing. Most of the time on pasture but can be in dry lots.
A.I. (artificial insemination)– The process of manual breeding an animal. Done to increase better genetics into the herd without having to have a bull on location.
Herd– The combination of all cattle.
Dairy– Animals used for milk production. (also goats, sheep, etc.)
Beef– Bovine animals used for the production of meat. This can include both meat and dairy breeds.
Milker– A Cow currently used for milk production.
Dry cow– A cow that has previously had a calf and has since stopped producing milk. Can be re-bred and begin the cycle over.
Polled– Breeds that do not naturally have horns.
Horned– Breeds that have horns naturally.
Sire– The father or Male line.
Dam– The mother or female line.
Udder– The mammary gland the teats are connected to that holds milk, located under the cow.
Teats– the nipples young suckle from.
Auction– A process where bidders bid on cattle for sale.
Genetic– The study family lines and genes that make up the DNA of an animal.
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