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

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 

Beta carotene: pre-cursor of vitamin A provided by green pigment in forages that can be added in a synthetic form to feed mixtures. Claims include: improved reproductive efficiency and decreased uterine and mammary infections in dairy cows

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

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

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

Boar: sexually mature, uncastrated male swine 

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

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

Bran: coarse outer grain coating, separated during processing

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

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

Broilers: meat chicken processed between 6 - 13 weeks of age and reaches 2 ½ - 3 ½ pounds live weight

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

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

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

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, uncastrated male bovine

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

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)

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)

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

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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