Livestock Terminology
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Home > Livestock > Livestock Terminology
General Terms
Breed – a stock of animals within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection
Breeding animal– an animal caused to produce offspring typically in a controlled and organized way
Dam – a female parent
Flock – a grouping of a species of livestock (sheep, poultry)
Herd – a group of a single species of animal (cattle, horses, swine, goats)
Livestock – domestic farm animals kept for productive purposes (meat, milk, work, wool)
Market animal – livestock bred and raised for food consumption
Polled – a naturally hornless animal
Sire – a male parent
Litter – multiple offspring produced at one birth by a multi-parous mammal, also called brood

Chick – a newly hatched or a very young chicken
Broilers – a chicken that is six to 13 weeks of age used for meat production
Pullet – a young domestic hen, usually one that is less than one year old
Hen – an adult female chicken
Cockerel – an young male chicken
Rooster – an adult male chicken
Popular Products – eggs and chicken

Bovine – the scientific name for cattle
Calf – a sexually immature young bovine
Heifer – a young female bovine which has not yet had a calf
Cow – a mature female bovine
Steer – a castrated male bovine
Bull – a sexually mature male bovine
Popular Products – milk, beef and leather

Caprine – refers to animals in the goat family
Kid – a young goat
Wether – a castrated male goat
Doe – (aka. nanny) a female goat
Buck – (aka. billy) a sexually mature male goat
Popular Products – milk,* cabrito,** mohair and cashmere
*Goats are the number one producer of milk in the world
** Goat meat has many different names that depend on the goat’s geographic location and age of animal

Swine – a refers to animals in the pig family
Barrow – a young, castrated male swine
Boar – a sexually mature male swine
Gilt – a young female pig
Hog – a mature swine (usually weighing more than 120 pounds)
Pig – (aka. piglet) a young swine (usually weighing less than 120 lbs.)
Sow – a mature female swine

Ovine – the scientific name for sheep
Ewe – a female sheep
Lamb – a sheep less than one year in age
Ram – a male sheep
Wether – a castrated male sheep
Popular Products – lamb,* mutton,* hogget,* and wool

Poult – is a young domestic turkey
Hen – an adult female turkey
Tom – is a male turkey

Kit – a young rabbit
Doe – a female rabbit
Buck – a male rabbit
Popular Products – fur and meat
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