Animal Science Terms - D

Dairy Cows: cows that are raised to produce milk

Dairy Goats: goats used primarily for milk production

Dairy Nutritionist: animal health professional who specializes in the nutritional needs of dairy cows. Nutritionists recommend optimal diets to farmers and monitor how cows respond to their feeding program

Dairy Plant: facility that receives, tests, and processes milk into dairy products

Dam: female parent

Dark cutter: beef with lean tissue that is dark in color. It is the result of long term stress that has reduced the glycogen content in muscle prior to slaughter, The muscle pH of a dark cutter is generally high (approx. 6.5) which results in higher water-holding capacity and more light absorbency than normal thus causing a dark lean color.

Dark Firm and Dry (DFD): condition in meat where the pH declines slightly to pH 6.8 and the meat is darker in color, firmer in texture, and drier in appearance. This condition is caused by long term stress of sufficient duration to deplete glycogen stores in muscle prior to slaughter

Definitive host: Host in which parasites reproduce sexually

Degradable intake protein (DIP): see Rumen-degradable protein

Degradable protein: see Rumen-degradable protein

Dehairing machine: machine with rotating rubber paddles that removes the hair from a scalded hog carcass

Dehulled: feed ingredients (grains, fruits, and nuts) that freed of their seed coats or outer shells through a mechanical process

Dehydrated (Dehydration): dried by removing moisture

Delivered Price: Price of a trade including freight overages

Delaney clause: section of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1959 requiring that foods be free of residues of pesticides or other compounds found to cause cancer in experimental animals

Delay phase of rigor: phase during the rigor process in which ATP is present in the muscle, maintaining a state of relaxation

Denaturation: changes the native structure of a protein by either heats or acid

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): nucleic acid that is the genetic material determining the makeup of all living cells and many viruses. It consists of two long strands of nucleotides linked together in a structure resembling a ladder twisted into a spiral

Depilatating: process of removing hair from a hog carcass during slaughter

Dew claw remover: hook shaped device that is used to remove the dew claws from a hog at the time of slaughter

Diaphragm: muscle and connective structure that separates the abdominal and thoracic cavity.

Diffusion: process whereby particles of liquid , gasses or solids intermingle as the result of spontaneous movement caused by thermal agitation and dissolved substances move from a region of higher to one of lower concentration

Digestible energy (DE): apparent energy that is available to the animal by digestion, measured as the difference between gross energy content of a feed and the energy contained in the animal's feces (gross energy minus fecal energy)

Digestibility: measure of the apparent extent that a feed or nutrient is digested, usually expressed as a percentage of the amount consumed

Digestible NDF (NDFd): measure of how digestible the neutral detergent fibre fraction of forages is in ruminants. NDFd provides a better estimate of feed value than reliance only on measures of lignin and acid detergent fibre

Digestion: process of mechanical, chemical and enzymatic breakdown of consumed feeds into smaller components for absorption in the intestine of the animal

Digestive Tract: series of organs in the digestive system through which food passes, nutrients are absorbed, and waste is eliminated. In higher vertebrates, it consists of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum and anus

Direct-fed microbial (DFM): live microbial feed supplement that beneficially affects the host animal. Claims include reduced early mortality, increased growth rate, improved feed conversion, egg quality and animal health (e.g., prevent disease and/or aid recovery from illness). Lactic acid producing strains (e.g., Lactobacillus and Streptococcus) are common components of bacterial DFMs

Discount Price: Adjustment, expressed in dollars per hundred weight, subtracted from the base price due to weight, quality characteristics, yield characteristics, livestock class, dark cutting, breed, dressing percentage, or other factors

Distal: away from the point of reference

Doe (Nanny): sexually-mature (over 1 year of age) female goat. Also, a female rabbit

Doeling: young female that is not yet sexually mature (less than a year old)

Dominance: gene is said to be dominant when its characteristic effect is expressed in the heterozygote as well as homozygote, i.e. Aa < AA. Ability of gene to cover in block out expression of its allele or genes that have observable effect when present in any one member of a chromosome pair 

Donkey: domesticated animal of the equine family primarily used as a working animal

Dorsal (superior): away from the plane of support. "Top side"

Draft Horse: large horse bred for hard, heavy tasks such as ploughing and farm labor

Drake: adult male duck

Drenching: administer an oral dose of liquid

Dressing Percentage: percentage of the live animal weight which is the carcass; calculated by dividing the hot carcass weight by the live weight then multiplying by 100. Also referred to as yield

Drove: group of swine

Drug: substance of synthetic, mineral, plant or animal origin used for pain relief or cure of disease and not as a nutrient

Dry Cows: cow that is not producing milk (lactating). The “dry” period lasts 50-70 days when a cow is preparing to give birth to a calf, which begins a new lactation period

Dry Cure: application of a curing mixture of salt, sugar, sodium nitrite, erythorbate and spices by rubbing them on the product to be cured. Generally only used on thin meat cuts

Dry heat cookery: cooking of meat without presence of additional moisture. Examples of the such methods are roasting, broiling, grilling, panbroiling, panfrying, stirfry and deep fat frying

Dry matter: everything contained in a feed sample except water (e.g., 100% dry matter). This includes protein, fiber, fat, minerals, etc. In practice, it is the total weight of feed minus the weight of water in the feed, expressed as a percentage

Dry period: period after lactation in which a female animal does not produce milk

Dry-matter basis: used to compare nutrient composition or animal intake of feeds in a standardized fashion by eliminating differences in moisture content

Dry-matter intake: amount of (or prediction of the amount of) dry matter (moisture free feed) consumed by an animal. Typically, intake increases as the digestibility of the forage increases

Drylot: area with no vegetation generally an outside pen area

Duck: refers to a female of the duck family

Ducklings: baby ducks

Ducks: any wild or domesticated swimming birds of the family Anatidae, typically having a broad, flat bill, short legs, and webbed feet

Duodenum: beginning part of the small intestine, starting at the lower end of the stomach

Dystocia: difficulty in delivering the fetuses



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