1 Terminology

Animal Terminology

POULTRY Broiler / fryer chicken raised for meat
Chicken Icon Capon castrated male chicken or turkey
Chick new born chicken or turkey
Cock or rooster male chicken of breeding age
Cockerel young male chicken
Hen mature female chicken or turkey
Hen poult young female turkey
Jake young male turkey
Poult young turkey
Pullet immature laying hen
Spent hen egg-laying hen that is no longer producing eggs that are of grade A quality (approximately 2 years of age)
Tom male turkey of breeding age
CATTLE Bull male of breeding age
Cow Icon Bullock young male, typically less than 20 months of age
Calf newborn (generally any male or female less than 1 year of age)
Cow mature female; a female that has produced a calf
Dry cow a cow that has finished one lactation and has not yet given birth and started a subsequent lactation
Heifer young female; a female that has not produced a calf (term may be used whether or not they’re currently pregnant)
One-calf heifer young female that has produced only one calf and is in her first lactation
Heiferette a heifer that has calved once, is not lactating, and is fed for slaughter
Springer breeding age heifer that has not yet given birth to her first calf and is within the last 6 weeks of gestation (this term is more commonly used at auction than in practice)
Steer castrated male
Stocker weaned cattle that are run on grass or are fed high roughage diets
Yearling male or female that is 1-2 years of age
HORSES Colt young male
Horse Icon Filly young female
Foal newborn
Gelding castrated male
Mare mature female
Stallion or stud male of breeding age
SHEEP Ewe mature female
Sheep Icon Ewe lamb young female
Lamb newborn
Ram male of breeding age
Ram lamb young male
Wether castrated male
GOATS Buck or billy male of breeding age
Goat Icon Buck kid young male
Doe mature female
Doe kid young female
Kid newborn
Wether castrated male
SWINE Barrow castrated male
Pig Icon Boar male of breeding age
Finishing Pig pig aged from about 10 weeks to slaughter age (about 6 months of age)
Gilt young female; a female that has not had a litter
Nursery pig pig aged 21 days to 10-12 weeks
Piglet newborn, up to 21 days of age
Shoat young male
Sow mature female; a female that has had a litter
Weaned pig piglet that has been separated from the sow
DOGS Bitch intact female
Dog Icon Dog or stud mature male
Puppy newborn
CATS Queen intact female
Cat Icon Tom mature male
Kitten newborn


Production Terminology

POULTRY Aviary house cageless layer house with litter floor and multiple layers of perches and nests, allowing birds to freely move between all levels
Chicken Icon Furnished cages large enclosed cages, holding 30-60 laying hens, that have perches and scratch pads
Grandparent stock first generation, highest biosecurity level poultry stock owned by breeder companies
Litter wood chips or seed (rice, peanut) hulls used for footing
Multiplier stock offspring of grandparent stock; owned by poultry companies and bred for production of growing turkeys, broilers, and layers
CATTLE Backgrounding growing program for feeder cattle from time calves are weaned until they are on a finishing ration in the feedlot
Cow Icon Biological type refers to size of cattle (small, medium or large), growth rate, milk production (high, medium or low), and age at puberty
Calf crop number or percentage of calves produced within a herd in a given year relative to the number of cows and heifers in the breeding herd
Calving act of giving birth
Conditioning treatment of cattle by vaccination and other procedures before introducing them into the feedlot
Cow-calf operation a management unit that maintains a breeding herd of cows and produces weaned calves for sale
Crossbred an animal that is the product of the crossing of two or more breeds
Culling removing cattle from the herd for sale or slaughter
Dry period rest period at the end of a lactation before a cow gives birth again
Feeder cattle those requiring more growth and/or fattening before slaughter
Feedlot beef cattle enterprise where cattle are placed in confinement, fed harvested feeds, and fattened for slaughter
Finished cattle cattle whose time in the feedlot is completed and are now ready for slaughter
Freestall loose housing system for cows indoors, in which cows can move freely in groups within a large space
Fresh cow cow that has given birth within the last 3 weeks
Freshening calving
Lactation period between two calvings during which the cow gives milk, usually lasting about one year. A cow that has just given birth to her second calf is in her second lactation
Preconditioning preparation of feeder calves for marketing and shipment, may include vaccinations, castration, training calves to eat and drink in pens
Seedstock producer enterprise that produces breeding animals for the commercial segment of the industry
Serving act of breeding
Tiestall confined housing system with cow tethered by their head and held in one place
HORSES Foaling act of giving birth
Horse Icon Covering act of breeding
SHEEP Lambing act of giving birth
Sheep Icon Tupping act of breeding
GOATS Kidding act of giving birth
Goat Icon Serving act of breeding
PIGS Farrowing act of giving birth
Pig Icon Coupling act of breeding
Farrowing rate (# farrowing / # bred) x 100
Non-productive days days a given sow or gilt of breeding age is present in the herd but is not pregnant or lactating
Not-in-pig female diagnosed pregnant (usually by ultrasound) that does not go on to farrow = mortality of all fetuses during gestation
Dog Icon Whelping act of giving birth
Cat Icon Queening act of giving birth


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Veterinary Preventive Medicine Copyright © 2022 by Margaret Root Kustritz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book