Glossary of Terms


An Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) is a prediction, based on available data, of one-half the breeding value of an animal. It is a prediction of what the animal is expected to transmit to its future offspring, expressed as a difference from the average in the units of measure.

BrandingDehorningDowner cow
Fat cattleOpen cowPolled
SpringerA.I.Closed herd
Embryo TransferF1Scurs

NCEBack to top

Nearly all purebred beef cattle organizations conduct National Cattle Evaluations (NCE). Used for the genetic evaluation of carcass, growth and maternal traits.

ESTBack to top

Expressed Sequence Tags - A short strand of DNA that is a part of a cDNA molecule and can act as identifier of a gene. Used in locating and mapping genes.

QTLBack to top

Bovine Quantitative Trait - used to estimate traits such as milk production, growth, meat tenderness.

CEBack to top

Calving Ease - The ease of giving birth to a calf.

BWBack to top

Birth Weight - Weight at birth of a calf.

WWBack to top

Weaning Weight - Adjusted weaning weight. Expressed in pounds.

YWBack to top

Yearling weight - Adjusted weight at 1 year. Expressed in pounds.

MilkBack to top

This is the pre-weaning performance of the calf.

CWBack to top

Carcass Weight - Expressed in pounds.

MBBack to top

Marbling - Flecks of fat within the lean muscle that enhances both flavor and juiciness.

FatBack to top

12th rib fat thickness.

REABack to top

Rib Eye Area - Measured in square inches.

BullBack to top

Male cattle of any age.

CalfBack to top

Offspring of cattle age up to 1 year, either male or female.

CowBack to top

Female cattle usually over 3 years of age.

CrossbredBack to top

Offspring of two different cattle breeds.

CWTBack to top

100 pounds of weight.

DamBack to top

The mother of any offspring.

FreemartinBack to top

A heifer calf born with a bull calf. Freemartins are sterile and occur 9 out of 10 twin births.

HeiferBack to top

Female cattle under 3 years of age.

PedigreeBack to top

The record of parents of a given individual.

ProgenyBack to top

All offspring.

PurebredBack to top

Any animal eligible for registration by a recognized breed.

RegisterdBack to top

Purbred animal recognized by a breed association.

SireBack to top

Male parent.

StagBack to top

Male castrated after secondary sex characteristics are developed.

SteerBack to top

Male calf castrated before secondary sex characteristics are developed.

WeanBack to top

The act of taking offspring from their mothers and off milk.

YearlingBack to top

Animal between 1 and 2 years of age.

VealerBack to top

Milk fed calf less than 3 months of age.

BrandingBack to top

A permanent mark used to identify cattle. Fire branding or feeze branding is most often used.

DehorningBack to top

The act of removing horns from cattle.

Downer cowBack to top

A cow/cattle that can not stand for any reason.

Fat cattleBack to top

Cattle, males, and females ready for slaughter.

Open cowBack to top

A female that is not pregnant.

PolledBack to top

Cattle naturally without horns.

SpringerBack to top

Female cattle close to calving.

A.I.Back to top

Artifical Insemination - A technique to impregnate a female without the natural service of the male of the species.

Closed herdBack to top

A group of cattle raised without introduction of outside cattle.

Embryo TransferBack to top

The act of removing embryos from a high quality donor cow and placing them in a less desirable host cow.

F1Back to top

The first generation of offspring resulting in the mating of a purebred bull and a cow of another breed.

ScursBack to top

Any horny tissue that is attached to the skin rather than the bony parts of the head.

MKBack to top

Milk (Important if you retain replacements)

TMBack to top

Total Maternal

GLBack to top

Gestation Length

FMBack to top

Feedlot Merit - Extra dollars based on pounds gained from Weaning Weight to Yearling Weight.

CEDBack to top

Daughters Calving Ease

SCBack to top

Scrotal Circumference

STBack to top

Stayability - Cow's ability to produce a calf after age 6.

MBBack to top

Marbling - A determinant of USDA quality grade.

FTBack to top

Fat Thickness (lower FT means leaner beef)

GMBack to top

Grid Merit - Extra carcass value in dollars.

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