Beef Cattle Terminology
Accuracy (of selection)--Correlation between an animal's unknown
actual breeding value and a calculated estimated breeding value.
Average daily gain (ADG)--Measurement of daily body weight change in animal on a feed test.
Most bull tests are 140 or 160 days in length.
Adjusted weaning weight (WW)--An unshrunk, off-the-cow weight adjusted to 205 days of age and
to a mature dam age equivalence.
Adjusted yearling weight (YW)--An unshrunk weight adjusted to either 365, 452, or 550 days of
age and for age of dam.
Ad lib feeding--No limit placed on amount of feed intake. Self-feeding or allowing cattle to
consume feed on a free-choice basis.
Alleles--Alternate forms of genes. Because genes occur in pairs in body cells, one gene of a
pair may have one effect and another gene of that same pair (allele) may have a different effect on the same
Artificial insemination (A.I.)--The technique of placing semen from the male in the
reproductive tract of the female by means other than natural service. ~
Backcross--The mating of a two-breed crossbred offspring back to one of its parental breeds.
Example: A Hereford-Angus cross cow bred back to an Angus bull.
Beef carcass data service--A program whereby producers, for a fee, can receive carcass
evaluation data on their cattle by using a special "carcass data" eartag for their slaughter animals. See county
extension director breed representative, Beef Cattle Improvement Association representative, or area office of USDA
meat grading service for information.
Beef Improvement Federation (BIF)--A federation of organizations, businesses, and individuals
interested or involved in performance evaluation of beef cattle. The purposes of BIF are to bring about uniformity
of procedures, development of programs, cooperation among interested entities, education of its members and the
ultimate consumers of performance evaluation methods, and to build confidence of the beef industry in the
principles and potentials of performance testing.
Birth weight (BW)--The weight of a calf taken within 24 hours after birth. Heavy birth weights
tend to be correlated with calving problems, but the conformation of the calf and the cow are contributing
Breeder--In most beef breed associations, the owner of the dam of a calf at the time she was
mated or bred to produce that calf.