Quick Guide to Cattle Terms

Do you know any other terms we haven’t included? Let us know, and we’ll add them in.

 

  • Beast - general descriptive term for an adult bovine
  • Baby Beef - slaughter cattle weighing 700 to 1000lbs (approx 315 to 450kgs) at 9 to 15 months of age grading good or better for quality
  • Beefling - a fat young cattle beast weighing 500kg (approx. 1100lbs) at one and a half to two years of age
  • 'Bobby' calf - calf slaughtered whilst only a few days old
  • Bob veal calf one to three weeks old, sold for baby veal, often the male calves from dairy farms, average weight 150lbs (68kgs)
  • Bull calf - entire male young animal up to stage of yearling
  • Bull - Entire male bovine animal of breeding age, usually over one year old
  • Bullock - Mature castrated male cattle destined for meat production
  • Bull beef - from entire animals instead of the fatter steer or bullock
  • Calf - bovine animal less than a year old. (In some legislation six months old or even less
  • Compounds - Factory-prepared pellets or nuts manufactured from various ingredients including major minerals, trace elements, vitamins and other additives. The ingredients are mixed and blended in appropriate portions, designed to provide a balanced diet
  • Concentrates - The generic term for all non-forage feeds
  • Cow - A female that has had one or more calves
  • Cull cow - A cow that has been removed from the dairy herd or beef breeding herd to be sentto slaughter
  • Dairy Calf - calf of a mating between a bull and a cow both of dairy breeds
  • Veal Calf - Specially reared, grown quickly and fed on special food aged up to three months
  • Dairy Cow - cow of a breed specifically defined as being for milk production, as distinct from beef or dual purpose breeds
  • Dam - Mother of a calf
  • Dry Cow - a cow in the two - three month period between the end of lactation and the subsequent calving. Cows in which calving is imminent are close-up dry cows, or are freshening. Also refers to a mature cow that is not lactating whatever the reason
  • Fat stock / Finished Stock - beef animals that are ready for slaughter
  • Free-Marten - a female born with a male twin, usually infertile
  • Heifer - young female bovine animal up to birth of first calf or in lactation following the first calving. May be qualified as replacement (to enter herd as a replacement for a culled cow), pregnant, maiden or spayed heifer. A springing heifer is in the last one or two weeks of pregnancy. After second calving known as a cow (also second calver)
  • Multiparous - female animal that has had two or more pregnancies resulting in viable offspring
  • Maiden Heifer/Bulling Heifer - heifer before going the bull
  • Maiden - a female, eg ewe, gilt, heifer, bitch, mare, of breeding age but not yet mated 
  • Protein concentrates - These are intended for further mixing before feeding with planned proportions of cereals and other feedstuffs either on the farm or in a compound mill. They contain blended high-protein ingredients such as MBM, fishmeal and soyabean meal. When mixed with appropriate straights (see below), they can be equivalent in nutritional terms to compounds
  • Primiparous - general term for any female animal that has had one pregnancy that resulted in viable offspring
  • Replacements - Cattle bred on farm to replace culled breeding stock
  • Suckler cow - The mother of a calf raised for beef production
  • Stirk - regional term for a half grown animal, heifer or bullock, six to 12 months of age
  • Steer - castrated male animal over one year of age
  • Store Cattle - animals for beef which have been reared on one or more farms, and then are sold, either to dealers or other farmers. They are brought for finishing, normally well-grown animals of up to two years of age 
  • Straights - Single feedstuffs of animal or vegetable origin, which can be bought in or grown on the farm
  • Yearling - an animal in its second year of age, eg yearling cattle, yearling filly, yearling colt
  • Young bulls - Male calves that have not been castrated
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