Terminology Used in Livestock Production


Terminology Used in Livestock Production

Type: It is a commonly accepted standard that combines those characteristics essential in adopting an animal for a particular purpose e.g. milk, meat wool or work.

Breed: It is groups of animal that are result of breeding & selection have certain distinguishable characteristics.


A group of animals related by decent & which are similar in most of the characters like general appearance, size, colors, horns it is called breed.


A breed may be defined as a cluster domestic animal of a species where individuals are homogenous in certain distinguishable characteristics which differ from one to other group of animals.

Species: A group of individuals which have certain common characteristics that distinguish them from other group of individuals with in species the individuals are fertile when in different species they are not.

Sire: The male parent of the calf.

Dam: Female parent of the calf.

Calf: Young one of cattle or buffalo below the age of six months is called calf.

Heifer: The younger female of cattle above age of six months to first calving.

Cow: The adult female of cattle from the date of first calving is called cow.

Bull: It is unsaturated of, cattle used for breeding or covering the cows.

Bullock: It is the castrated male of cattle used for work.

Service: The process in which mature male covers the female i.e. in heat with the object to deposit spermatozoa in the female genital tract is called service.

Conception: The successful union of male and female gametes & implantation of zygote is known as conception.

It is the condition of female when developing foetus in present in the uterus.

Gestation period:
The period from the date of service (actual conception) to the date of parturition is termed as parturition period or pregnancy period. This period varies according to species of animals e.g. is cows 279-283 days, in buffalo 310 days, sheep 148-152 days, goat 150-152 days.

Parturition: The act of giving birth to young one is called parturition.

Lactation period: The period after parturition in which the animal produces milk.

Dry period:
The period after lactation in which the animal does not produce milk.

Calving interval:
The period between two successive calving is calving interval.

Average: It is the sum of production divided by No. of animals.

West average: It is the average daily milk yield of a cow is lactation.

                          Total milk yield. of a lactation (kg or Lt).   
W.A              = ———————————————————-
                                         Lactation period (days)

Herd Average: It is average daily milk yield of milling animal in a herd.

             Total milk yield of a day      
  H. A.  = ————————————– 
               No. of milking animals

Overall average:  It is average daily milk yield of the animal in the period of calving interval.

              Total milk yield of lactation  
O.A.  =   ——————————————
               Calving interval (days)

Environment: The sum of all external influences to which an individual is exposed.

Genotype: The complete genetic make up of an individual- or its combination of genes it possesses which influences its characters. Several different genotypes may.

Phenotype: The external appearance or some other overall or measurable characteristics of an individual or it is the actual expression of the character as determined by his genes & the environment in which he has lived.

Half sib:
Half brothers or half sisters

Full sib: Full brothers or full sister.

The occurrence of genetic factors derived from each of its parent in an Individual.

The percentage of variation in individual characteristics between related individuals which is due to true genetic difference.

Repeatability: It is the expression of the same trait at different times in the life of the same individual or the tendency of an individual to repeat its performance e.g. dairy cow in successive lactation.

Allel: One or two or more alternative foms of a gene. Alleles are those genes which may appear at same locus in homologus chromosomes.

Gene: It is the unit of inheritance, which is transmitted in gametes or reproductive cells. It is the physical basis of heredity.

A gene is said to be dominant when its characteristic effect is expressed in the heterozygote as well as homozygote, i.e. Aa < AA. Ability of gene to cover in block out expression of its allele or genes that have observable effect when present in any one member of a chromosome pair

Genes which have no. observable effect unless present in both members of a chromosome pair.

Interaction of two or more pairs of a gene that are not allele to produce a phenotype that they do not produce when they occur separately.

Lethal: (Deadly) A gene or genes that cause death of an individual which are possessed by them during pregnancy or at the time of birth.

The ability of certain individuals to stamp or impress their characters upon their offspring or prepotency is the ability to transmit characteristics to offspring to a marked degree.

Ability of an animal to produce large number of living young.

It is the potential capacity of the female to produce functional ova regards of what happens to them after they are produced.

Sterility: Inability to produce any offspring.

Free martin:
A sterile heifer born twin with the male.

Cryptorchids:The failure of testes to descend fully into the scrotum. If one testes is in scrotal position the male is usually fertile but if both are retained in the abdominal cavity sterility usually reported.

The reappearance of a character after it has not appeared for one or more generation.

Buller: Cow always in estrus condition.

A vasectomized (castrated) bull used to detect the heat or estrus of female (cow).

Herd: It is a group of cattle or buffalo.

Flock: It is the group of sheep, goat or poultry birds.
Steer: The male cattle that is castrated when he is still a calf or before the development of sexual maturity is called steer.

The meat of calf below the age of 3 months.

Beef: The meat of- cattle past calf stage.

Pork: The meat of swine.

The meat of sheep & goat.

The meat of goat

A castrated sheep is called wedder.

Ability to produce large number of offsprings. The animal is said to be prolific.

Variation: The degree to which individuals differ with respect to the extent of development of expression of characteristics.

Puberty: It is the period when reproductive tract & secondary sex organs/characteristics start to acquire their mature form. Before on set of puberty the reproductive tract of heifer grows proportionately to body growth but beginning at about 6 months age growth rate of these organs is much grater than body growth. At about 10 months of age the rapid growth phase of the reproductive tract ceases & this signifies the end of puberty. Heifer reaches puberty earlier than bull.

Transmission of genetic factors from parent to offspring’s.

The material on the basis of heredity taken collectively. The sum of gene constitution of an individual.

Foetus: A term for developing young one during last quarter of pregnancy.

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