Animal Science Terms - B

Back Cross: breeding a first cross offspring back to one of the parental breeds. This is often the first step in establishing a grading up program or composite breed

Backfat thickness: measurement of the amount of the subcutaneous fat on a carcass

Bacteria: single celled organisms that reproduce by cell division may be either unintentional contaminants (spoilage or pathogenic organisms) of muscle foods or intentional additives such as the lactic acid starter cultures used in the manufacture of fermented products

Bacterins: suspension of killed or inactivated disease organisms. They will not cause the disease, but initiate an immune response. An example of a bacterin is blackleg bacterin

Bacterin: bacterial vaccine

Balance/Symmetry: describes how the parts of the body blend together and result in good eye appeal and proper confirmation

Balanced Ration: 24-hour feed allowance (ration) containing nutrients in the correct proportion to meet the nutritional needs of the animal required for a given level of performance

Baler: piece of machinery that compresses and binds hay/alfalfa into rectangular or round bales to feed to cows

Barn: building on a farm that houses animals, feed and small implements

Barrow: young, castrated (before sexual maturity) male swine 

Base price: price paid for livestock before application of any premiums or discounts, expressed in dollars per hundred weight

Basis level: The agreed upon adjustment to a futures price to establish the final price paid for livestock

Beta carotene: pre-cursor of vitamin A provided by green pigment in forages that can be added in a synthetic form to feed mixtures

Beef: culinary name for meat from bovines (cattle). Can also refer to living cattle

Bell scraper: bell shaped device used to remove the hair from a hog carcass

Belly thickness: belly wall thickness of a hog; used to determine minimum quality for grading purposes

Belly: wholesale cut of a hog carcass which composes approximately 13 percent of the carcass. The belly is generally cured and sold as bacon

Biceps femoris: muscle found in hind limb of the animal and composes the bottom round or outside round

Biceps brachii: muscle located in the arm roast or chop. Approximately the same diameter as the humerus bone in which it is next to

Binders and Extenders: non-meat ingredients that are added to sausage products for one or more of the following reasons: (1) improve cooking yields, (2) improve slicing, (3) improve flavor, (4) reduce formulation costs, (5) increase protein content, (6) improve emulsion stability, (7) improve fat binding, (8) increase water binding

Binder meats: meats used for sausage products that have the ability to bind water and emulsify fat in a sausage product. Meats with high binding ability have a lot of lean skeletal tissues whereas meats with a low binding ability are high in connective tissue and fat

Biodiversity: number of different plant species in an area. The more species of plants, the more productive and stable the ecosystem

Biotechnology: technology based on the manipulation of a living organism used to improve the quality of human life based on biology that is used for agricultural, food science or medicinal purposes. In agriculture, the process involves creating or modifying DNA to impart beneficial genetic traits

Blackleg: highly fatal disease of young cattle caused by one type of Clostridium bacteria. See Clostridial disease

Blast freezing: most commonly used commercial method for freezing meat products. Air is cooled to between -10C to -40C, then by blowers increased to an air velocity of 760 mph which causes the product to be frozen at a rapid rate. The meat products must be wrapped to protect from freezer burn

Blended: two or more feed ingredients combined; blending does not imply a uniformity of dispersion

Blind teat: non functional teat on the udder of the goat. It can be an additional teat that is not connected to a milk duct or one that is nonfunctional due to mastitis

Bloat: excessive accumulation of gas in the rumen and reticulum, resulting in distention of the abdomen

Block: one or more feeds compressed into a solid form

Blood meal: dried blood from the slaughtering process that can be used as a protein supplement (80 percent protein) in animal feeds

Blood splashing: appearance of minute hemorrhages in the muscle, fat and connective tissue due to a transient rise in blood pressure at the time of slaughter. Particularly evident in pork that has been cured.

Bloom: development of the bright color associated with the formation of oxymyoglobin on the lean surface of a cut of meat when exposed to oxygen. In beef this takes approximately 20 minutes. The color goes from a purplish red to a bright cherry red

Boar: sexually mature, uncastrated male swine 

Boar odor: distinctive odor associated with meat from intact adult male hogs. It is related to the presence of the compound 5 androst-16ene-3one, which is a metabolite of testosterone. It has been described as a urine-like, sweaty, aromatic odor that develops when boar fat is heated

Body condition score: numeric value assigned to an animal that estimates the degree of fatness or condition that covers the animal’s body. This score is assessed by palpating the spine, (spinal and transverse processes) and ribs. On a scale of 1 to 9, reflecting the amount of fat reserves in a cow’s body, where 1 = very thin and 9 = extremely fat

Boer: one of the breeds of meat goats used in the U.S. This breed originated in South Africa and was imported into this country during the early 1990’s

Bolus: rounded mass of medicine used in cattle, goats and sheep

Bone sour: sour or putrid odors found around the femur in a beef round or pork ham caused by anaerobic bacteria that may have been present in lymph nodes or bone joints, or may have gained entrance along bones during storage and processing

Boner cattle: Slaughter cows expected to yield carcasses in the range of 80-85% lean. Typically a cow with between .15-.35 inches of backfat at the 12th rib

Boston shoulder: wholesale cut made by making a perpendicular cut through the thoracic vertebrae at the second and third rib, then cutting at right angles approximately 3/4 inch ventrally from the exposed surface of the scapula. This cut comprises about nine percent of the pork carcass

Bound Water: water that is in close association with the charged groups on a protein molecule, thereby being held tightly to the protein

Bovid: any of various hoofed, horned ruminant mammals of the family Bovidae, which includes cattle, sheep, goats, buffaloes, bisons, antelopes and yaks

Bovine: term generally relates to beef cattle of the biological subfamily Bovinae. This diverse group features about 24 species of medium- sized to large ungulates (animals with hoofs) such as domestic cattle. Other members include bison, water buffalo and yak

Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV): virus that can cause severe, acute respiratory disease, especially in young cattle

Bovine somatotropin (BST): commonly referred to as growth hormone. Produced naturally by the cow, stimulates metabolic functions related to growth and milk production

Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD): disease caused by bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), resulting in numerous problems, such as damage to the digestive and immune systems, pneumonia, abortions, calf deformities, and others. Incomplete vaccination programs, such as those omitting a needed booster vaccination, have led to BVD outbreaks in some herds

Bowl chopper (silent cutter): piece of equipment used in sausage making that consists a round bowl in which meat is placed that rotates so the meat is passed through a series of blades rotating at about 5000 rpm and is chopped into fine particles.

Boxed beef: fabrication of the beef carcass into wholesale, primal and subprimal cuts at the plant. These cuts are trimmed of excess fat and possibly bones, then vacuum packaged and boxed by similar cut and shipped to retailers directly

Brahman X: identifies cattle that possess a noticeable degree of the Brahman breed influence, usually 1/4 blood or greater

Bran: coarse outer grain coating, separated during processing

Branded Product: label put on a product by the processor or distributor to identify for the consumer food products that are of a particular quality

Braise: brown meat in a small amount of fat then cook slowly in a covered pan with a small amount of liquid.

Break joint: epiphyseal cartilage at the distal end of metacarpal bones is used to classify carcasses as lamb.

Breaker: worker in the a processing plant who separates the carcass into wholesale, primal and subprimal cuts

Breaker Cattle: slaughter cows expected to yield carcasses in the range of 75-80% lean. Typically a cow with more than .35 inch of backfat at the 12th rib

Breaks in the Chine: breaks in the back (curve in the back)

Breast: retail cut of chicken which is composed primarily of the pectoralis muscle; also the wholesale cut of lamb that includes the sternum and the pectoralis muscle

Breed: groups of animal that are result of breeding & selection have certain distinguishable characteristics.They are related by decent and are similar in most of the characters like general appearance, size, colors, and horns it is called breed. This cluster of domestic animals within a species have individuals with homogenous, distinguishable characteristics which differ from other groups of animals within the species

Breeding animal: animal caused to produce offspring typically in a controlled and organized way

Breeding Season: period when goats will breed naturally. This season usually begins in the fall

Breeding Stock: sexually mature male and female livestock that are retained to produce offspring

Brine: solution which contains the cure and water that is pumped into meat for curing

Broil: cook by direct heat. Grill

Broiler or fryer: young chicken (usually 6-8 weeks of age) , either sex that is tender-meated with soft, pliable, smooth-textured skin and flexible breast-bone cartilage. The weight range for a broiler and fryer carcass is 3 - 4.5 pounds

Broken Mouth: aged cows that have one or more teeth missing

Broken over in the knee: buckles over in the knee, no one says it, is just an indication of lameness

Bromelin: degradative enzyme isolated from pineapple that will degrade muscle proteins. It can be used as a tenderizing agent and is most active at a temperature of 90 - 140F

Brown Swiss: breed of dairy cattle that originated on the Swiss Alps. Known for producing the second largest quantity of milk annually of any dairy breed, their milk averages 4 percent butterfat and 3.4 percent protein which makes it ideal for cheese production. Brown Swiss are gray-brown in color and are known for their immense size, large ears and docile temperament

Browning: process of the cooking the meat so the myoglobin pigment is converted to hemochrome, which can be characterized by the cooked meat color

Browse: small stems, twigs, leaves and/or fruits and flowers of shrubs, woody vines and trees

Brucellosis. An infection resulting in abortion in females and inflammation and damage to the testicles in males, caused by the bacterium Brucella abortus. Also known as Bang’s disease. See Calfhood vaccination

Brush Goat: term used to describe any goat that was of unknown breeding for many years in the U.S. These goats were generally provided very little maintenance and kept to clear brush on property. Many showed traits associated with dairy, Spanish, and Angora breeds depending on the location they were found

Buck (Billy): sexually mature (over 1 year of age) intact male goat. Also, a male rabbit

Buck Rag: cloth rubbed on a buck and imbued with his odor. The rag is kept in a closed container and can be used to assist in stimulating estrus (heat) in does

Buckling: young male goat less than a year old

Buffer: substance used in livestock rations to help resist changes in the acidity of the digestive tract (e.g., sodium bicarbonate, bentonite)

Bulk Tank: large, insulated and refrigerated, stainless steel storage tank located at the dairy, designed to hold milk as soon as it leaves the cow. The milk is cooled immediately in the bulk tank, usually to 35-39 degrees F. The milk is then collected by a bulk tank truck and shipped to a processing plant

Bull: sexually mature (approximately 24 months of age or older) uncastrated, male bovine. However, for the purpose of these standards, any mature, castrated, male bovine which has developed or begun to develop the secondary physical characteristics of an uncastrated male also will be considered a bull

Bull calf: juvenile male bovine 

Bull dog (Undershot or Monkey Mouth): lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, and the teeth extend forward past the dental pad on the upper jaw. This is disqualifying feature for confirmation

Bullock: intact male bovine (under approximately 24 months of age) that is less mature than a bull but has developed or begun to develop the secondary physical characteristics of a bull. Skeletal maturity distinguishes the difference between the two. Bullock carcasses have slight red and slightly soft chine bones, and the cartilage on the ends of the thoracic vertebrae have some evidence of ossification; the sacral vertebrae are completely fused; the cartilage on the ends of the lumbar vertebrae are nearly completely ossified; and the rib bones are slightly wide and slightly flat

Burdizzo: tool used to castrate (emasculator) goats, sheep or cattle that crush the spermatic cords to render the male sterile. This leaves the scrotum intact; however, the testicles will shrink away

Burro: spanish term used for donkey (generally used west of the Mississippi)

Butchers dollar: round silver-dollar-sized piece of the femur that is cut when the loin and round wholesale cuts are separated

Butt Head: goats born without horns

Butter: produced by churning the fat from milk or cream until it solidifies. The butter mass is washed and sometimes salted to improve keeping qualities.It is a water-in-oil emulsion, comprised of >80% milkfat, but also containing water in the form of tiny droplets, some milk solids-not-fat, with or without salt (sweet butter). The texture is a result of working/kneading during processing at appropriate temperatures, to establish fat crystalline network that results in desired smoothness (compare butter with melted and recrystallized butter). It is used as a spread, a cooking fat, or a baking ingredient

Butterfat: also known as milkfat, this is the fatty portion of milk containing all of the fat components in milk that are separable by churning. Milk and cream are often sold according to the amount of butterfat they contain. In the United States, there are federal standards for butterfat content of dairy products

Butteroil: synonymous with anhydrous milkfat; (conventional terminology in the fats and oils field differentiates an oil from a fat based on whether it is liquid at room temp. or solid, but very arbitrary)

Butterfly: split steaks, chops, cutlets and roasts in half leaving halves hinged on one side

Butting: method of fighting by which one animal strikes the head and horns of its opponent

Buttons: cartilage located on the ends of the spinous processes of the thoracic vertebrae. The size of the button helps in determining the physiological maturity of beef carcasses

By-pass protein: see Rumen-undegradable protein

Byproduct: feed ingredients produced as a result of industrial manufacturing, plant or animal processing (e.g., distillers' grains, beet pulp, fish meal



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