واژه نامه تخصصی دام و طیور


Livestock & poultry Glossary


گردآورنده: مزرعه آی قاصدک







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واژه نامه دام و طیور

 گردآورنده: محمد حیدری ، علی اکبر حیدری




































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شماره صفحه



















K , L










Q , R




T , U


V , W , Y


















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abomasum. Fourth stomach or true stomach of the ruminant animal, in which enzymatic digestion occurs.


abscess. Boil; localized collection of pus.


acidosis. Severe digestive upset from change in rumen bacteria.


acute infection. An infection or disease that has rapid onset and pronounced signs and symptoms.


afterbirth. Placental tissue attached to the uterus during gestation and expelled after the birth.


air cell. Air space usually found in the large end of an egg.


albumen. The white of the egg.


anemia. A deficiency in the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, possibly caused by loss of blood or by certain disease conditions.


anestrus. The nonbreeding season; the state (for females) of being not in heat.


artificial insemination (AI). The process in which a technician puts semen from a male animal into the uterus of a female animal to create pregnancy.


auto-sexing. a breed in which male chicks are lighter than females.


Allantois. Respiratory and excretory organ of bird embryos prior to lung development and activation.


Ambient temperature. Actual outside temperature.


Amnion. A membranous sac enclosing and protecting the embryo that holds the amniotic fluid.


Androgen. A sex hormone produced in the testes and characterized by its ability to stimulate the development of sex characteristics in the male.


Antioxidant. Compounds that reduce free radicals in the body; also, compounds used to prevent rancidity of fats or the destruction of fat-soluble vitamins.


Avian. Of or pertaining to birds.


AHVLA. Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.




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Air sacs. Parts of the respiratory system in fowl, which contains hollow bones and the avian lung. The air sacs function something like bellows.


Amylase. The enzyme secreted with saliva from the glands of the mouth to help lubricate the food and aid in its passage down the esophagus.


Ascites. A condition in which the bird grows so fast its immune system can’t keep up; it became a serious issue for a few years in the broiler chicken industry. Because the rate of bodily development is so rapid with the immunity rate lagging behind, the birds are susceptible to many ailments, the most obvious being sores on the legs and feet and breast blisters that are slow to heal.


Blackhead. Primarily a protozoan disease of turkeys, although it occasionally occurs in chickens.


Air space. Gap between the outer and inner membranes of the eggshell.


As hatched. Young chickens not yet sexed.


Auto-sexing breed. Male and female chicks are different colours.


Avian influenza. Notifiable virus causing rapid death in birds, and potential infection in humans.


Abomasum. The third compartment of the ruminant stomach; the compartment where digestion takes place.


Abortion. Early (often spontaneous) termination of pregnancy.


Acre. A unit of measurement: 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet.


Action. The manner in which an animal moves its legs.


Acute. Any process occurring over a short period of time.


Afterbirth. The placenta and fetal membranes that are expelled after giving birth.


Ammonium chloride. A mineral salt fed to male sheep and goats to inhibit the formation of bladder and kidney stones.


Amnion. One of two fluid-filled membranes enclosing an unborn fetus.


Anestrus. The period of time when a female animal is not having estrous (heat) cycles.


Anthelmintic. A substance used to control or destroy internal parasites; a dewormer.




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Antibodies. Circulating protein molecules that help neutralize disease organisms.


Antitoxin. An antibody capable of neutralizing a specific disease organism.


acidosis. Severe digestive upset from change in rumen bacteria—due to feeding too much grain or pH imbalance in sick baby calf due to dehydration.


anaphylactic shock. Serious allergic reaction; the animal collapses and goes into shock.


anestrus. Period after calving in which the cow does not cycle.


antibody. Protein molecule in the blood that fights a specific disease.


antigen. Substance invading the body that stimulates creation of protective antibodies in the bloodstream.


antiseptic. Chemical used to control bacterial growth.


antitoxin. Antibody that counteracts a bacterial toxin.


aspergillus. A type of mold that can be poisonous if eaten.


abortion. Loss of pregnancy before going full term.


aging. The time process involved causing a maturing or ripening of meat enzymes that increase flavor and has a tenderizing effect.


aitch bone. The rump bone.


alternator. An electric generator for producing alternating current.


ampere. A measure of electrical current that indicates how many electrons are passing through a given point in the circuit.


annual. A plant that only survives for one growing season and does not overwinter.


anterior to. Toward the front of the carcass, or forward of.


average daily gain. Amount of weight that an animal gains each day.


acute. Having a severe and swift development, often measured in hours and ending in death or recovery; opposite of chronic.


agricultural lime. Calcium carbonate, used to condition chicken coop litter, although it also facilitates the generation and release of harmful ammonia fumes.



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alternate host. Intermediate host.


amino acids, essential. Amino acids that must be furnished through diet.


amino acids, nonessential. Amino acids that are synthesized within the body.


antinutrient. Any natural compound in a feedstuff that interferes with the absorption of nutrients.


antiserum. A blood serum containing antibodies against a specific antigen, injected to treat or protect against a specific disease (plural: antisera).


arthritis. Any inflammation of a joint and surrounding tissue.


ascariasis. Infestation with roundworms.


ascites. An accumulation of fluid in the body cavity.


atrophy. To shrivel up or waste away.


ALLANTOIS. The membrane arising from an embryo’s gut that grows until it completely surrounds the embryo. Its function is to provide the embryo with oxygen, expel carbon dioxide, deliver nutrients from the albumen and calcium from the shell, and collect body wastes.


ALL-IN ALL-OUT INCUBATION. Single-stage incubation.


AREA BROODER. A small area separated from a larger area for the purpose of confining chicks close to heat, feed, and water.


ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION. The phenomenon whereby an unfertilized egg develops an embryo. Also called parthenogenesis.


AUTOSEX. A straightbred variety or breed that displays clearly distinct sex-linked color characteristics by which males may be easily distinguished from females at the time of hatch. The term autosexing was developed to differentiate sex-link purebreds from sex-link crossbreds.


ADGA. American Dairy Goat Association, the oldest and largest dairy goat registry in the United States.


antitrypsin factor. A substance that prevents the enzyme trypsin in pancreatic juice from helping to break down proteins. Present in soybeans.


ash. The mineral matter of a feed; what is left after complete incineration of the organic matter.



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Balling gun. A device used to administer a bolus (a large pill).


bantam. A diminutive chicken about one-fourth the size of a regular chicken, some breeds of which are distinct while others are miniatures of large breeds.


beak. The upper and lower mandibles of chickens and turkeys.


bean. A hard protuberance on the upper mandible of waterfowl.


beard. Feathers bunched under the beaks of some chicken breeds, such as the Antwerp Belgian, the Faverolle, and the Houdan; also coarse hairlike bristles growing from a turkey’s chest; also a clump of long hairs growing under a goat’s chin.


bedding. Straw, wood shavings, shredded paper, or any other material used to cover the floor of an animal pen to absorb moisture and manure. Also called litter.


bevy. A flock of ducks.


bill. The upper and lower mandibles of waterfowl.


bleaching. The fading of color from the beak, shanks, and vent of a yellowskinned laying hen.


bloat. An excessive accumulation of gas in a ruminant’s rumen and reticulum, resulting in distension.


blood spot. Blood in an egg caused by a rupture of small blood vessels, usually at the time of ovulation.


bloom. The moist, protective coating on a freshly laid egg that dries so fast you rarely see it; also, peak condition in exhibition poultry.


blowout. Vent damage caused by laying an oversize egg.


body capacity. The internal dimensions of an animal’s body.


bolus. A large pill for animals; also, regurgitated food that has been chewed (cud) by a ruminant.


bovine. Pertaining to or derived from cattle.


bovine virus diarrhea (BVD). A viral disease that can cause abortion, diseased calves, or suppression of the immune system.





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break up. To discourage a female bird from being broody.


breech. The buttocks; a birth in which the fetus is presented rear first.


breed. A group of animals with the same ancestry and characteristics.


breeder ration. A nutritious feed used to boost the reproductive ability of breeding animals.


brisket. The front of a cow above the legs.


broiler. A young chicken grown for its tender meat. Also called a fryer.


brood. In poultry: to set on a nest of eggs until they hatch. Also, the resulting hatchlings, collectively. In bees: collectively, the immature stages of the honey bee, including eggs, larvae, and pupae.


brood chamber. A section of the hive used for brood rearing of honey bees.


brooder. A mechanical device used to imitate the warmth and protection a mother bird gives her chicks.


broody hen. A setting hen.


browse. Bushy or woody plants; to eat such plants.


brucellosis. A bacterial disease that causes abortion.


buck. A mature male goat or rabbit.


buck rag. A cloth rubbed onto a male goat and imbued with his odor and kept in a closed container until it is exposed to a doe to observe her reaction to help determine if she’s in heat.


bull. An uncastrated male bovine of any age.


bummer. A lamb that has to be bottlefed because it is either an orphan or a lamb whose mother doesn’t produce enough milk for multiple lambs.


bunny. A affectionate term for rabbit. Also a baby rabbit; also called a kit.


burdizzo. A castrating device that crushes the spermatic cords to render a male animal sterile.


barring. stripes of two colors across a feather.




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beard. feathers in a small clump under beak, e.g., Faverolles.


booted. having feathers on the legs and feet and including vulture hocks.


Beak. Upper and lower mandibles of chickens, peafowl, pheasants, turkeys, and so on.


Beak trimming. Removal of the upper and/or lower tips of the beak to prevent cannibalism and improve feed efficiency.


Bits/Rings. Attachments for mandible to prevent cannibalism.


Blastoderm. The collective mass of cells of a fertilized ovum from which the embryo develops.


Blastodisc. The germinal spot on the ovum from which the blastoderm develops after the ovum is fertilized by the sperm.


Blinders/Specks. Attachments for upper mandible to partially block vision. Used to prevent cannibalism.


Bread. The tuft of hair attached to the upper chest region.


Breast blister. Swollen, discolored area or sore in the area of the keel bone.


Brooder. Heat source for starting young birds.


Broodiness. Tendency toward the maternal instinct that causes females to set or want to hatch eggs.


Bursa fabricious. A glandular organ located dorsally to the cloaca, important to the immunology of the bird, which regresses as the bird matures.


Breed true. To produce a hatch in which the birds resemble the parents physically and genetically.


Brooder. A structure used to start and rear young fowl; it can be anything from a cardboard box or plastic tub to an elaborate multi-tiered metal frame structure complete with attached waterers, feeders, and manure pans.


Broody. Describes the behavior and attitude of a hen obeying the biological instinct to reproduce.


Bumblefoot. A bacterial infection that results from bruising to the foot of the bird.


Breed standards. Defined characteristics set down by the breed society.




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Broody/broodiness. Instinct to hatch eggs.


Back cross. The mating of a crossbred off-spring back to one of its parental breeds.


Bag (slang). Udder.


Bagging up. Enlargement of the udder prior to giving birth.


Balanced ration. Feeds having proper portions of ingredients to provide for growth, reproduction, and good health.


Banding. Castration by the process of applying a fat rubber ring to a male animal’s scrotum using a tool called an elastrator.


Barren. Unable to conceive or bear young.


Belt. A band of white around the barrel of an animal, flanked on either end by a darker color.


Billy (slang). An uncastrated male goat; the preferred term is buck.


Birth date. The actual date an animal was born.


Birth weight. The weight of a young animal taken within 24 hours of birth.


Bite. Occlusion; the manner in which the upper and lower teeth match up.


Bleating. Goat and sheep vocalization; in goats, also referred to as calling.


Bloat. Excessive accumulation of gas in a ruminant’s rumen.


Bloodlines. The ancestry of an animal.


Bloom. The healthy shine of a hair coat in good condition.


Blowing coat (shedding, molting). When a coated animal sheds its hair, usually in the spring or summer months.


Boar. An adult male pig used for breeding purposes.


Bolus. A large, oval pill; also used to describe a chunk of cud.









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Bo-Se. An injectable prescription selenium supplement.


Bos indicus. Humped breeds of cattle descending from aurochs’ ancestors domesticated in the Indus Valley of India and Pakistan.


Bos taurus. Nonhumped cattle descending from aurochs’ ancestors domesticated in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.


Bot fly eggs. Minute yellow eggs deposited on the legs and chins of equines.


Bots. A type of internal parasite.


Bottom side. The dam’s side of a pedigree.


Box stall. A roomy, four-sided stall to house livestock, particularly equines.


Breed. Individual animals of a color, body shape, and other characteristics similar to those of their ancestors, capable of transmitting these characteristics to their own offspring.


Breeding class. A livestock show class based on judging an animal’s conformation and type.


Brindle. Striped.


backcross. Mating a crossbred back to one of the parent breeds.


backgrounder. Person who buys calves to put on pasture or crop residues to grow larger before going to a feedlot.


blackleg. Serious disease caused by Clostridium chauvoei, a soil bacterium, resulting in inflammation of muscles and death.


Bloat-Guard. Preparation containing Poloxalene (antifoaming agent), usually fed to cattle in block form to prevent bloat.


body condition score. Number from 1 to 9 describing how thin or fat the cow is (1 is emaciated, 9 is obese).


breeding. Mating; family history.


breeding soundness examination. Inspection of a bull to evaluate conformation, reproductive tract, scrotal circumference, and semen viability.








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bactericides. Any agent that destroys bacteria.


bagging. The rapid expansion of the udder in anticipation of giving birth, beginning up to two weeks before.


balanced ration. Food for animals that includes all the daily required nutrients.


ballast. Weight added to the tractor to improve traction.


beef (noun). The meat of a cow, bull or steer.


beef (verb). To send to slaughter or to butcher.


bolt. A plant going to seed.


bone-in cuts. Meat cuts that contain parts of bone.


breech birth. Birth when a fetus is presented backward.


bulk. The amount of physical space taken up by a food in relation to the nutrients it contains; often identified with hay and silages.


bull. Male bovine.


bulling. A slang term used to identify a cow in heat or estrous.


butterfat. Fat content in the milk that can be separated out to make cream or butter.


bushing. A metal sleeve that in the presence of grease serves as a bearing surface for a moving or rotating part.


basal metabolism. The amount of energy (fuel) needed to keep a chicken alive and healthy but not engaged in activity, growth, or egg production.


biological pest control. The control of a pest population through the use of its natural enemies, such as predators, parasites, or pathogens.


biosecurity. Collective disease-prevention management practices.


blood poisoning. A bacterial infection or toxin that circulates in the blood; also called septicemia.


blowout. Uterine tissue that remains protruding outside a hen’s vent after an egg is laid; commonly called prolapse.


booster. Any vaccination following the first in a series.



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brachial. The main vein of the wing.


breeder ration. A feed designed to optimize the hatchability of eggs and the health of the resulting chicks.


broad spectrum. Description of a drug that affects a wide variety of pathogens.


bumblefoot. An infected abscess in the foot pad.


bursa. A fluid-filled sac that cushions a pressure point to reduce friction between body tissues.


bursa of Fabricius. The cloacal bursa.


broiler. Quick-growing poultry used for meat at an early age.


balling gun. Device used to administer a bolus (a large pill).


barn records. A tally of daily milk production kept by the goat owner rather than by an official testing organization.


blind teat. A nonfunctioning half of an udder (usually due to mastitis).


breeding season. The period when goats will breed, usually from September to December.


buck. A male goat.


buckling. A young male.


butterfat. The natural fat in milk; cream.



























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Calf. A young bovine of either sex, less than a year old.


California Mastitis Test (CMT). A doit-yourself kit to determine if a female milking animal has mastitis.


calve. To give birth to a calf.


candle. To determine the interior quality of an egg by shining a light through it. cannibalism. The bad habit some chickens and turkeys have of eating one another’s flesh or feathers.


caprine. Pertaining to or derived from a goat.


caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE). A serious and widespread type of viral arthritis.


carrier. An animal that carries a disease but doesn’t show signs of it.


castrate. To remove the testicles of a male animal to make him permanently incapable of breeding.


cervix. The opening (usually sealed) between the uterus and the vagina, which widens to allow an animal to give birth.


chalazae. White, twisted, ropelike structures that anchor the egg yolk in the center of the egg by their attachment to the layers of thick albumen.


chevon. Goat meat.


cloaca. The cavity just inside a fowl’s vent, into which the intestinal and genitourinary tracts empty.


closed face. In sheep, having heavy wool about the eyes and cheeks.


clostridial diseases. Diseases caused by Clostridia bacteria (including tetanus and enterotoxemia) that produce powerful toxins causing sudden illness.


clutch. A batch of eggs that are hatched together, either in a nest or in an incubator.


coccidiosis. An intestinal disease, caused by protozoa, that usually causes diarrhea.


coccidiostat. A drug used to prevent coccidiosis.


cock. A male chicken; also called a rooster.




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cockerel. A male bird under 12 months of age.


colic. An abdominal condition of mammals generally characterized by severe pain.


colostrum. The first milk from a female animal that has just given birth, which contains antibodies that give the newborn animal temporary protection against certain diseases.


comb. The fleshy prominence on the top of the head of fowl. Also, to remove short fibers from wool and leave long fibers laid out straight and parallel. Also, collectively the wax cells of a honey bee’s nest, which are constructed back to back into a solid slab and usually surrounded by a wooden frame.


concentrate. Feed—consisting of grains and oil meals—that is low in fiber and high in food value.


condition. Degree of health.


conformation. An animal’s overall shape and other physical attributes.


congenital. A birth defect.


coop. The house or cage in which poultry live.


cover. The fat a meat animal lays on beneath the skin as it approaches market weight.


cow. A bovine female that has had one or more calves.


creep feeder. An enclosed feeder for supplementing the ration of young animals that excludes larger animals.


creep-feeding. Providing extra feed (such as grain) to young animals that are still nursing their mothers.


crest. The elongated feathers on the head of some breeds of duck and chicken.


crop. An enlargement of the gullet of fowl where food is stored and prepared for digestion.


cryptosporidiosis. Diarrhea in young animals caused by protozoa; may also cause diarrhea in humans.


cud. In ruminant animals, a wad of food burped up from the rumen to be rechewed.


cull. To remove a substandard animal from the herd.


cycling. Heat cycles in a nonpregnant female.


Candle. To determine interior condition of the egg through the use of a special light in a dark room.



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Cannibalism. In the poultry industry, this term refers to the habit of one bird’s picking another to the point of injury or death. Can occur as toe picking, feather picking or pulling, vent picking, head picking, or tail picking.


Caponization. Surgical removal of the testes from a bird.


Carbohydrate. A class or type of nutrient that serves as an energy source and is derived from plant sources, such as grain.


Ceca. Two blind pouches located at the junction of the lower small intestines and the rectum that aid the digestion of birds, especially when fed highly fibrous diets.


Chorion. A membrane enveloping the embryo, external to and enclosing the amnion Chromosomes. A series of paired bodies in the nucleus of a cell that contain DNA and are responsible for hereditary characteristics; constant in any one kind (species) of plant or animal.


Cloaca. In birds, the common chamber or receptacle for the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts.


Coccidiostat. A drug used to control or prevent coccidiosis, a disease of poultry caused by protozoa.


Confinement rearing. Rearing of animals in an enclosed or semienclosed building, such as a barn or shed.


Crumble. Form in which some feeds are supplied; it refers to animal feed that has been pelleted and then reground or crumbled into small bits.


Culling. The act of removing unsuitable birds from the flock.


Cuticle. External waxy covering or coating of the egg.


Caging. In this system, birds living in conventional cages are usually debeaked, and troughs of feed and water are placed in front of them so they have access without the need to move. In most commercial caging situations, great numbers of birds are kept in a small space. No nest boxes are needed; the eggs roll out from under the cage. These hens never have access to the world outside of their cages and roosters are never involved because natural mating is never allowed to occur.


Clean up. When one lets hens clean up, it means not saving any eggs for hatching for a full two weeks to be certain of their parentage.


Class. A division of chickens of similar types due to a common ancestry or point of origin. An example of a class is the Americans, which includes all breeds developed in

America, typified by yellow skin and legs.



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Cloacal kiss. Act in which semen is transferred from the cloacal area near the phallus on the male bird to the cloaca on the female.


Cuticle. layer The thin, protective layer on the outside of the egg.


CAE. Caprine arthritis encephalitis.


Calf. A baby bovine.


Calling. Vocalization.


Camelid. Members of the camel family including the old-world camelids (camels) and new-world camelids (alpacas, llamas, guanacos, vicuñas, and hybrids thereof).


Caprine. Relating to goats.


Carcass. The body of a slaughtered animal.


Castrate. Removal of a male’s testes.


Catch pen. A small, well-fenced area used for catching and sometimes training livestock.


Catheter-tip syringe. A syringe with a blunt tip, used for the oral dosing of animals.


Cattle panel. A very sturdy large-gauge welded-wire fence panel; sold in various lengths and heights.


cc. Cubic centimeter; same as a milliliter (ml).


Ccara(CAR-ah). The short-woolled llama; in some places ccara refers to a working llama as opposed to a fiber llama.


CD/T. Toxoid vaccine used to protect against enterotoxemia (caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D) and tetanus.


Cervix. The section of a female’s uterus that protrudes into the vagina; it dilates during birth to allow the young to pass through.


Chromosome. The long DNA molecules on which genes (the basic genetic codes) are located.


Chronic. Any process occurring over a long period of time.


CL. Caseous lymphadenitis.




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Classification. A system of judging within different breeds.


Claws. The two halves of a cloven hoof.


Clean legged. A sheep term denoting an animal with hair instead of wool on its legs.


Closed face. A sheep term denoting an animal with wool covering its entire head.


Coarse. Lacking refinement.


Cob. A small horse or pony with cobby conformation.


Cobby. A short, stocky body type that is close coupled and compact.


Coccidiostat. A chemical substance mixed with feed, bottle-fed milk, or drinking water to control coccidiosis.


Coggins. A blood test used to detect carriers of equine infectious anemia; also the certificate indicating that an equine has been Coggins tested.


Colostrum. The first milk a female produces after birth; high in antibodies, this milk protects newborn kids against disease; sometimes incorrectly called colostrums.


Colt. An uncastrated male equine under three years of age.


Come into milk. To begin lactating (producing milk).


Composite breed. A breed made up of two or more other breeds.


Concentrate. High energy, low fiber, highly digestible feed such as grain.


Condition. Amount of fat and muscle tissue on an animal’s body.


Conformation. A descriptive term pertaining to the overall look of the body parts of an animal.


Congenital. A condition acquired during development in the uterus and not through heredity.


Cover. To breed (a male animal covers a female animal).


Cow. A female bovine; sometimes loosely used to refer to bovines of all ages and sexes.


Cria(CREE-uh). A young llama between birth and weaning age.




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caesarean section. Delivery of a calf through surgery.


calf. Young bovine of either sex, less than a year old.


carbohydrates. Feed elements containing energy (sugars, starches, cellulose).


carotene. Compound found in plants that can be used by ruminants to synthesize vitamin A.


carrier. (genetic) A heterozygous individual having a recessive gene that is not expressed but that could be passed to offspring. (disease) An animal that appears healthy but harbors pathogens or parasites that can be passed to other animals.


caruncles. “Buttons” that attach placenta to lining of uterus.


castrate. To remove the testicles of male cattle.


catch pen. A pen, in the corner of a corral or beside it, where an animal can be cornered and restrained.


cellulose. One of the main types of fiber in plants; source of food energy for ruminants.


cervix. The opening (usually sealed) between uterus and vagina.


colostrum. First milk after a cow calves; contains antibodies that give temporary protection against certain diseases.


composite. Uniform group of cattle created by selective crossing of several breeds.


concentrates. Feeds low in fiber and high in food value; grains and oilmeals.


condition. Degree of fatness.


conformation. General structure and shape of an animal.


congenital. Something that is acquired before birth (e.g., a birth defect).


cornea. Membrane covering the eye.


corral. Fenced area within or beside a pasture where an animal can be confined.


cortisol. Hormone (steroid) produced by adrenal glands; animals under stress produce excess cortisol.


creep-feeding. Providing extra feed (such as grain in a creep) to calves that are still nursing their mothers.



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crude protein. Total amount of protein in a feed as determined by lab analysis (only part of which is digestible).


cycling. Nonpregnant females having heat cycles.


calipers. An instrument that measures small increments of scale.


carburetor. A device that supplies the engine with vaporized fuel mixed with air.


carcass. The dressed body of an animal slaughtered for food.


carcass yield. Carcass weight as a percentage of live weight.


carcass weight. The weight of the carcass after all initial butchering procedures have been completed and the internal organs, intestines, and fats have been removed.


cereal. Plants of the grass family that yield an edible, starchy grain such as corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, or rice.


collagen. A fibrous protein found in connective tissue, bone, and cartilage.


compressed air system. A method for creating high-pressure air for cleaning.


conformation. Physical size and shape of an animal.


creepers. A rolling table on which a worker can lie for access to undercarriages of equipment or vehicles.


crop rotation. The deliberate alternation of plant locations.


cultivar. A named plant selected for growing because of some valuable attribute.


cure. Any process to preserve meats or fish by salting or smoking, which may be aided with preservative substances.


cutting yield. The proportion of the weight that is a salable product after trimming and subdivision.


capillary. Any of the fine blood vessels branching out from the larger arteries and veins.


capsid. The protective protein coat of a virus.


cecum. A blind pouch at the juncture of the small and large intestine (plural: ceca).


cholecystitis. Any inflammation of the gall bladder.



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congenital. Existing at birth but not necessarily genetic.


contagious. Readily transmitted from one individual or flock to another.


core temperature. The temperature of internal organs; also called deep body temperature.


critical high temperature. The air temperature at which a chicken starts suffering heat stress.


critical low temperature. The air temperature at which a chicken starts suffering cold stress.


culture. The propagation in a laboratory of microorganisms or body tissue from a diseased bird to determine the cause of disease; also the sample so propagated.


cutaneous. Affecting the skin.


CAROTENOIDS. Natural pigments occurring in two classes of plants: xanthophylls (consisting of leafy greens), from which egg yolks get their color, and carotenes


(consisting of numerous orange fruits and vegetables). Yellow corn is the only major constituent of poultry feed that contains both xanthophyll and carotene.


CERAMIC BULB. An infrared heater made of porcelain that uses the same type of fixture as a regular screw-in light bulb but does not emit light. Also called ceramic infrared heat emitter and Edison screw-base ceramic bulb.


CLUTCH. A batch of eggs or brood of chicks that hatch together. Also the eggs a hen produces in one laying cycle.


COLOR SEXING. Taking advantage of the sex-link gene that controls feather color to sort chicks by the color or color patterns of their down; a practice commonly used to produce hybrid brown-egg layers known as black sex links and red sex links.


CONTAGIOUS. Description of a disease that spreads by direct or indirect contact with an infected individual.


CONTINUOUS HATCHING. Periodically putting fresh eggs into an incubator so that while some hatch, others are at various stages of incubation.


carbonaceous hay. Any hay that is not a legume (such as the clovers and alfalfa) including timothy, brome, johnsongrass, and Bermuda grass.


chevon. Goat meat.


cistern. Final temporary storage area of milk in the udder.



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Dam. The female parent.


dehorn. To remove the horns of an animal that was not disbudded soon after birth.


dewclaw. A horny structure on the lower leg above the hoof.


dewlap. Loose skin under the neck.


disbud. To remove the horn buds from a young animal to prevent horn growth.


disbudding iron. A tool, usually electric, that is heated to burn the horn buds from young animals.


dished face. Having a concave nose, such as that of the Saanen goat.


dock. To cut off the tail; also the remaining portion of the tail that has been docked.


down. The furlike covering of newly hatched poultry. Also the fluffy bottom part of a chicken or turkey feather. Also, the inner layer of soft, light feathers on waterfowl.


drake. A male duck.


drake feather. One of three curly feathers on a drake’s tail.


drakelet. A young male duck.


drench. To give liquid medication.


dress. To clean meat in preparation for cooking.


dry. Not producing milk.


dry period. The time when a female animal is not producing milk.


drylot. A large lot used to maintain animals that is devoid of vegetation due to foot traffic and numbers present.


ducklet. A young female duck.


duckling. A baby duck.


dubbing. removal of male gamefowl combs and wattles to prevent injury in fights.


Dewlap. A loose flap of skin that hangs between the lower beak and throat.




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Dominant trait. A trait or characteristic of the bird that expresses itself if present in the genetic makeup of a bird.


Down A fluffy. first plumage.


Draft shield Anything used to protect young poultry from drafts.


Drop ship. A practice whereby one hatchery ships its chicks on behalf of any number of other hatcheries. When this happens, the babies of one breed are all a single strain of chicks from the same place and the same breeding pens.


Dual-purpose bird. A bird used for more than one purpose, typically for producing both eggs and meat.


Dust-bath. Dry soil for cleaning feathers and skin.


Decoquinate. A coccidiostat sometimes added to feed to control coccidiosis.


Dew claws. Extra toes or vestigal hooves occurring on one or more legs.


Disposition. The temperament of an animal.


Disqualification. One or more defects, deformities, or blemishes that render an animal ineligible for registration, breeding, or showing.


Dock. To shorten a lamb’s tail.


Dust bath. A bare, sandy, or dusty spot where animals prefer to roll (dust bathe).


DMSO. Dimethyl sulfoxide; solvent with medicinal values used as liniment and as anti-inflammatory, swelling-reducing drug in cases of pneumonia, diphtheria, snakebite, and injury.


dominant. More powerful; a dominant gene produces the expressed trait when more than one gene for a certain trait are present.


double muscling. Recessive trait (expressed if inherited from both parents) in which the muscles have extra fibers, giving an extremely muscled appearance; results in calving problems.


dwarfism. Recessive trait in which skeleton is small and forehead bulges.


dehydration. The loss of a large amount of body fluids (a loss of more than 12 percent results in death).






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detergent. A surfactant that improves the cleaning action of water, helps water penetrate and soften organic matter, and is mildly germicidal.


developer. A ration formulated to optimize the growth of pullets.


diagnosis. The identification of the nature and cause of a disease by examining external and internal signs.


diarrhea. Droppings with the fecal portion too loose to retain its shape.


diathesis. A tendency to suffer from a particular medical condition, such as exudative diathesis, in which seeping (exuding) fluid accumulates under a chicken’s skin.


digestion. The process by which feed is converted into a form that can be absorbed into the body from the digestive tract.


diluent. A liquid used to reconstitute and dilute a vaccine.


direct life cycle. A life cycle that does not involve an intermediate host.


disinfect. To inactivate or kill microbes on housing and equipment, but not on a chicken’s body.


disorder. An abnormality of body functions that may or may not be the consequence of a disease.


dropping. A combination of feces and urates.


DORSAL STRIPES. Stripes that run along the back, usually on both sides of the backbone, the color and length of which sometimes can be used to color-sex chicks; also called chipmunk stripes.


DIMORPHISM. Readily observable differences in the physical features and behavior patterns between males and females of the same breed.


DRINKER. A container from which birds drink water; also called waterer or fount.


dairy cleaning agents. Alkaline or acid detergents for washing milking equipment; iodine or chlorine compounds for sanitizing milking equipment.


DHIA (Dairy Herd Improvement Association). A program administered by the USDA, through Extension Services, to test and record milk production of cows and goats.


DHIR (Dairy Herd Improvement Registry). A milk production testing program administered by dairy goat registries in cooperation with DHIA.



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Ear canker. A scabby condition inside a rabbit’s ear caused by mites.


edema. Swelling due to excess accumulation of fluid in tissue spaces.


egg tooth. A small, horny protuberance attached to upper mandible of a hatching bird’s break or bill that it uses to help break open the shell, then falls off several days after hatching.


elastrator. The tool used to apply elastrator rings.


electrolytes. Important body salts, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, that must be replaced as a result of dehydration.


endotoxic shock. Shock caused by body systems shutting down in reaction to bacterial poisons.


endotoxin. The poison created when bacteria multiply in the body.


enteritis. Inflammation of the intestine.


esophageal feeder. A tube put down an animal’s throat to force-feed fluids from a feeder bag.


estrous cycle. The time and physiological events that take place in one heat period.


estrus. The period when a female animal is in heat and will willingly mate with a male animal.


ewe. A mature female sheep.


earlobes. area of bare skin below chicken›s ear. Color denotes egg color, that is, in most cases white earlobes = white egg, red earlobes = brown or tinted.


Esophagus. The tubular structure leading from the mouth to the glandular stomach.


Evaporation. Changing of moisture (liquid) into a vapor (gas).


Endocrine glands. Glands that produce hormones.


Eukaryotic cells. Complex cells that have a nucleus (a central body where genetic information is stored) and organelles.


Egg peritonitis. Yolks descend into the body cavity and cause infection.




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Enriched cage. Improved accommodation for battery hens.


Easy keeper. An animal that easily maintains its weight.


Emaciation. Loss of flesh resulting in extreme leanness.


Embryo transplant. Implantation of embryos into a surrogate mother.


Energy. A nutrient category of feeds usually expressed as TDN (total digestible nutrients).


Entero. A shortened, common name for enterotoxemia.


Entire. An uncastrated male animal.


Equine. All members of the family Equus, including horses, donkeys, zebras, and their hybrids.


Estrus. The period when a female animal is receptive (for example, she will mate with a male; she is “in heat”) and can become pregnant.


Extra-label (also called off-label). The use of a drug for a purpose for which it isn’t approved.


enzyme. A complex protein produced by living cells that serves as a catalyst for some aspect of cell metabolism, such as the digestion of food or the metabolism of energy.


exudate. Any fluid secretion associated with inflammation.

































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feather out. To grow a full set of plumage.


feed additive. Anything added to a ration, including preservatives, growth promotants, andmedications.


fetus. An animal in the uterus or within an eggshell prior to its birth.


finish. To mature and fatten enough to butcher (to reach butchering condition).


flight feathers. The primary feathers on the wing of fowl; sometimes used to denote the primaries and secondaries.


flight zone. The proximity you can get to an animal before it flees.


flock. A group of chickens, turkeys, or sheep.


flush. To feed a female more generously than usual two to three weeks before breeding in order to stimulate the onset of heat and improve the chances of conception.


forage. The hay and/or grassy portion of an animal’s diet.


forced-air incubator. A mechanical device for hatching fertile eggs that has a fan to circulate warm air.


foundation. Thin sheets of beeswax (sometimes plastic) embossed with hexagonal cells, and the template used by honey bees to construct the cells that becomes the comb.


founder. Inflammation of the hooves.


fowl. A term applied collectively to chickens, ducks, geese, and the like, or the market class designation for old laying birds.


frame size. The measure of hip height, used to determine skeletal size.


free choice. Feed that is available to be eaten at all times.


free range. Poultry allowed to range and forage at will.


freshen. To give birth and begin to produce milk.


frizzle. Having feathers that curl rather than lie flat.


full feeding. Allowing an animal to consume all the feed it desires daily; also called free choice.



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Fertile. Capable of reproducing.


Fertilization. Penetration of the female sex cell (ovum) by the male sex cell (sperm).


Flight feathers. The large primary and secondary feathers of the wings.


Follicle. A developing yolk on the ovary.


Feathering. The development of feathers other than down.


Feather picking. The habit of picking at the feathers of other birds.


Feed conversion. The amount of feed it takes to produce a product such as meat or eggs.


Fines. The fine, flour-like material created in the feed-grinding process.


Flighty. Used to describe breeds with a nervous nature that do not like a lot of close human connections.


Fledge. Leave the nest.


Fount. The dishlike part of a no-drown waterer from which birds drink.


Fowl pox. Viral disease causing crusty scabs.


F1 . The first-generation offspring resulting from the mating of a purebred male animal to a purebred female of another breed.


Fainting goat. A common name for Myotonic goats.


Fatten. Feeding for increased weight gain.


Faults. Imperfections for a particular breed or variety of animal.


Favor. To limp slightly.


Fecal egg count (FEC). The number of worm eggs in a gram of feces; sometimes written as EPG (eggs per gram).


Fiber. Wool or hair.


Field shelter. A basic shelter with a roof and, usually, three sides.


Fineness. A measure (in microns) of the diameter of individual fibers.




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Finishing. The act of feeding an animal to produce a desirable carcass for market.


Fleece weight. The weight of all usable fiber removed from a single animal.


Flock. A group of sheep.


Fly strike. A condition in which blowflies lay eggs in wounds or wet, filthy fiber; when maggots hatch out, they consume their host’s flesh.


Foal. An equine less than one year of age; also the act of an equine giving birth.


Foal heat. The first estrus that occurs after foaling.


fats. Nutrients with twice the food energy of carbohydrates.


fetus. Developing calf after 45th day of pregnancy.


fiber. Coarse portion of feed.


finish. To mature and fatten enough to butcher (to reach butchering condition).


fly tags. Insecticide ear tags that reduce flies on the animal.


flock mating. A group of breeding ducks that are penned together and consist of more than one male and two females.


FULL MOLT. The renewal of feathers in all of the feather tracts, as opposed to a partial molt that affects some but not all tracts.

































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Gaggle. A flock of geese.


germinal disc. In an egg, the fertility spot from which an embryo grows.


gestation. The time between breeding and birth.


gizzard. The muscular stomach of fowl that contains grit for grinding food.


gosling. A young goose of either sex.


grade. Unregistered; not purebred.


graft. To have an adult female accept and mother a young animal that isn’t her own.


grit. The hard, insoluble materials eaten by fowl and used by the gizzard to grind up food.


grow-out period. The time it takes for an animal to grow from weaning to harvest.


gut. The digestive tract.


Gang. A group of turkeys; most often used to describe a group of toms.


GMOs. Genetically modified organisms such as altered seeds; an example would be corn that has gens forma bacteria moved into its DNA to kill corn borers that bite the stalk.


Game breed Birds. originally bred for cock-fighting.


Ground sanitizer. Disinfectant that destroys worm eggs.


Gait. A pattern of foot movements such as the walk, trot, canter, and gallop.


Genetic marker. A detectable gene or DNA fragment.


Genotype. The genetic makeup of an animal or plant.


Gestation. The length of pregnancy.


Get. The progeny of a male animal.


Grade. An unregistered animal, often of unknown breeding.


Grain. Seeds of cereal crops such as oats, corn, barley, milo, and wheat.


Gummer. An old animal that has lost most or all of its teeth.



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grass tetany. Serious condition (muscle spasms and convulsions) caused by magnesium deficiency; also called grass staggers.


genetically modified. Describes a living thing into which genetic material from an unrelated organism has been unnaturally inserted; also called genetically engineered or transgenic.


germs. Common collective name for disease-causing microbes.


gram-negative bacteria. Bacteria that have a thin wall surrounded by an outer membrane and that turn pink or red when stained.


gram-positive bacteria. Bacteria that have a thick wall with no outer membrane and that turn blue or purple when stained.


grit, inert. A hard form of grit that is not readily ground up in the gizzard.


grit, mineral. A substance that serves as a source of both calcium and grit; also called calcium grit.


grower. A ration formulated to optimize the growth of young chickens.


growing ration. A feed that is formulated to stimulate fast growth in ducklings over two weeks old.


GLOBULINS. Spherical-shaped, soluble, simple proteins widely found in plants and animals, including an egg’s albumen.


GYNANDROMORPH. A bird (or other creature) that has both male and female characteristics and organs.





























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Hackle. The long feathers on a rooster’s neck and saddle.


hardware disease. Peritonitis (infection in the abdomen) caused by a sharp foreign object penetrating the gut wall.


hatch. To come out of the egg; also, a group of birds that come out of their shells at roughly the same time.


hatchability. The percentage of fertilized eggs that hatch under incubation.


hatchling. A bird that has just hatched.


hay. Dried forage.


heifer. A young female bovine that has not calved.


hemoglobin. The compound in red blood cells that carries oxygen.


hen. A female chicken more than 12 months of age.


hen feathered. In a cock, having round feathers on the hackle and saddle.


herd. A group of goats or cattle.


hopper. A food container that is filled from the top and dispenses from the bottom and is used for free-choice feeding of grain, grit, and other supplements.


horn bud. A small bump from which a horn grows.


hurdle. A short, solid gate used when handling and herding hogs and sheep.


Husbandry. Proper and timely care and management of livestock. Hatcher The warm place wherein the egg-hatching process takes place; an incubator used specifically for that purpose.


Heritage fowl. A fowl that has been a recognized or historic breed, will mate naturally, and can reproduce on its own.


Homeotherms. Animals able to regulate and maintain a fairly constant body temperature.


Hybrid. A cross that will not produce offspring genetically similar to the parents.


Horn comb. Comb in the shape of a ‘V’.


Hybrid. hen Layer developed by scientific cross-breeding.


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Habitat. The place or environment where a plant or animal is normally found.


Hard keeper. An animal that requires more than the usual amount of feed to maintain weight.


Hay. Grass mowed and cured for use as offseason forage.


Heritability. The degree to which a trait is inherited.


Heterosis. The increased performance of hybrids over purebreds; hybrid vigor.


heredity. Transmission of traits from parents to offspring.


homozygous. Genes of a specific pair that are the same.


hormone. A natural substance produced in the body that circulates in blood and other body fluids to control the activity of certain cells or organs.


HATCHLING. A recently hatched bird.


HOVER. A heat source hung above brooded chicks and designed to allow chicks to warm themselves as needed or to move away from the heat to eat, drink, and exercise.


HUMIDITY PADS. Sponges used in an incubator to increase the surface area available for evaporation, thus increasing the humidity level. Also called wick pads.


HYBRID. A population parented by females of one breed and males of another breed — generally for the purpose of increased efficiency in egg production or rapid growth for meat production — having similar conformation and other identifying characteristics, but not the ability to reliably produce offspring with the same conformation and characteristics.


hand mating. Controlled breeding, as opposed to letting a male run loose with or in a pen of unbred females.


haylage. Silage made from hay plants such as alfalfa.


heat. Estrus; the condition of a doe being ready to breed.


hermaphrodite. A sterile animal with reproductive organs of both sexes, generally associated with the mating of two naturally polled animals.











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Incubate. To keep eggs warm and properly humid until they hatch.


incubation period. The number of days required for eggs to hatch once they are warmed to incubation temperature.


incubator. A mechanical device for hatching fertile eggs.


international unit (IU). A standard unit of potency of a biologic agent such as a vitamin or antibiotic.


intramuscular (IM). Into a muscle.


intravenous (IV). Into a vein.


iodine. A chemical used for disinfecting.


Imprinting. The process in which a young animal will form an attachment to another animal and treat it as if it were its mother.


Inbreeding. When mating occurs between closely related individuals — such as brothers and sisters — and then continues with mating among the offspring.


Infundibulum. The first part of a hen’s oviduct, where sperm storage and fertilization occur.


Isthmus. The part of the reproductive system of the hen where the inner and outer shell membranes are formed.


Infectious bronchitis. Respiratory disease that can damage the reproductive organs.


IM (Intramuscular). The injecting of a solution, usually a vaccine or drug, into muscle mass.


Immunity. A natural or acquired resistance to a specific disease.


IN (Intranasal). The spraying of a solution, usually a vaccine or drug, into the nostrils.


In milk. Lactating.


In season. In heat; see Estrus.


Induced ovulator. A female animal that ovulates after, instead of before, being bred.


IBR (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis). Respiratory disease caused by a virus, often called red nose.



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immunity, passive. Short-term resistance to a disease conferred by antibodies introduced from an outside source, such as maternal antibodies or injection with antiserum or antitoxin.


immunoglobulin. A protein in the serum and cells of the immune system that has the same function as an antibody.


impaction. Any blockage of a body passage or cavity.


incubation period. The time interval between exposure to a pathogen and the appearance of the first sign of disease; also, the time it takes for a bird’s egg to hatch.


inert/inactive ingredients. Components of a compound that enhance the effectiveness of the active ingredient.


infertility. The inability to reproduce.


ingest. To eat.


inflammation. A swelling, often reddened, hot, and painful, occurring as a reaction to an injury or infection.


INTESTINAL MICROFLORA. A complex community of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live in the digestive tract, aid digestion, and stimulate the immune system.








































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K , L


Ked. An external parasite that affects sheep.


keel. The breastbone or sternum of fowl.


ketosis. An overaccumulation of ketones in the body as a result of abnormal fat metabolism.


kid. A goat under 1 year of age; also, in goats, to give birth.


knob. A rounded protuberance appearing at the base of the bill (between the eyes) of some species of goose.


KERATIN. Fibrous protein that forms the structural basis for feathers and claws.


LAMELLAE. Tiny comb-like ridges waterfowl use like teeth to bite off bits of vegetation, to grab and hang onto insects, and to strain food particles out of water.


LANDFOWL. Chickens and chicken-like birds that live primarily on the ground and have short, rounded wings suitable for short-distanced flight.


lactating. Producing milk.


legume. Plant belonging to pea family (alfalfa, clover, etc.) that uses nitrogen from the air and also adds it to the soil.


lice. Tiny external parasites on the skin; there are two kinds — biting lice and sucking lice.


linebreeding. Form of inbreeding in which an attempt is made to concentrate the inheritance of a certain ancestor or line of ancestors; the mating of relatives.


leukocytes. White blood cells.


lymph. A watery fluid containing white blood cells that bathes the body’s tissues and returns to the blood via the lymphatic system.


lymphatic system. The part of the immune system consisting of a network through which lymph drains from body tissues into the blood.












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Maintenance ration. A feed used for adult animals that are not in production.


mammary tissue. Milk-producing tissue in the udder.


mandible. The upper or lower bony portion of a bird’s beak or bill.


marbled. Having flecks of fat interspersed in muscle.


mash. A mixture of finely ground grains.


mastitis. Infection and inflammation in the udder.


mature. Old enough to reproduce.


meconium. The dark, sticky first bowel movement of a newborn animal.


milking bench (or stand). A raised platform, usually with a seat for the milker and a stanchion for the goat’s neck, that a goat stands upon to be milked.


molt. To shed old feathers, fur, or hair and grow a new coat.


mount. To rear up over the back of an animal, as a bull does a cow when breeding.


mutton. Meat from a mature or aged sheep over 1 year old.


meat spot. small, harmless spot of blood in the egg.


Master Breeder. A talented, experienced breeder able to evaluate and select stock for production, soundness, and breed character, based on close observation of animals.


Magnum. The largest part of the oviduct, where most of the albumen is formed and deposited around the yolk.


Marek’s. An extremely contagious viral disease of poultry that presents with paralysis.


Metal tier brooders. Brooding systems that usually include four or five separate tiers, each capable of handling 25 to 50 chicks.


Myoglobin. The oxygen-holding molecule in the muscle. Muscles that are used more tend to accumulate more myoglobin and thus are darker in color, and called “dark meat.”


Mixed corn. Mixture of grains including maize.


Muff. Extra feathers around the face.


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Mitochondrial DNA. Genetic material inherited from one’s mother, contained within the mitochondria of each cell.


Molt (moult). To shed hair, wool, or fur.


Monensin. A coccidiostat sometimes added to feed to control coccidiosis; marketed under the brand name Rumensin; monensin is highly toxic to equines.


mammary tissue. Milk-producing tissue in the udder.


mummy. Dehydrated fetus that was retained in the uterus instead of being expelled when it died.


mortality. Percentage killed by a disease.


mucous membranes. Tissues lining the body cavity and the tubular passages of the digestive and respiratory systems and that secrete mucus. Also called mucosa.


mucus. A slimy substance produced by mucous membranes as a protective lubricant coating.


MULTI-STAGE INCUBATION. The procedure of placing groups of eggs in an incubator, typically a cabinet unit, at different times so that they hatch at different times, as opposed to single-stage incubation. Also called continuous hatching.


microorganism. Any living creature of microscopic size, especially bacteria and protozoa.


milking through. Milking a goat for more than 1 year.


milking bench (or stand). A raised platform, usually with a seat for the milker and a stanchion for the goat’s neck, that a goat stands upon to be milked.


























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nest box. A place for fowl to lay eggs or rabbits to give birth.


Nolvasan. An all-purpose disinfectant.


Naturalized. Describes domestic birds that go wild, live in the edges of fields and gardens, and raise their own young.


Naturally mating turkeys. Turkeys that are able to breed naturally and without artificial insemination; many of the modern white turkeys are not capable of natural reproduction because of the weight and size of their breasts, grown for meat.


Northern fowl mite. Parasite that lives on chickens causing serious debility.


narrow spectrum. Description of a drug that affects a limited variety of pathogens.


necrotic. Pertaining to dead tissue.


neural. Pertaining to nerves.


nutrient. Any consumed substance that provides nourishment needed for growth and the maintenance of life.











































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Off feed. Not eating as much as normal.


omasum. One of the four stomach compartments in the ruminant animal.


open. Not pregnant.


open face. In sheep, not having much wool around the eyes and cheeks.


overconditioned. Overfed or fat.


oviduct. The long, glandular tube of female fowl, leading from the ovary to the cloaca, in which egg formation takes place.


Ova. The yolks of eggs.


Ovary. The female reproductive gland in which eggs are formed.


Oviposition. The act of laying an egg.


Ovulation. The release of the yolk from the ovary.


Ovum. The female reproductive cell.


Off types. Choosing breeding partners from two separate gene pools to renew a breed’s vigor and to create a hatch of diverse birds with color variations, comb differences, build differences, and so on. By crossing these diverse and separate lines, breeders are flushing out some of the genes that aren’t always visible within a particular line.


Organelles. Miniature organs with specific functions within each cell, not unlike those in human body systems.


Organic feed. Feed grown on certified organic ground and using no artificial chemicals, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds (GMOs).


Outcrossing. Mating of birds with a different but similar breed.


Omasum. The third part of the ruminant stomach; it’s sandwiched between the reticulum and the abomasum.


Omnivorous. An animal that eats both flesh and plant food.


outbreeding (outcrossing). Mating of animals less closely related than the average of the breed or population.


organism. Any living individual.



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parasite. An organism that lives in or on an animal.


parturition. The birth process.


pastern. The area between the hoof and the fetlock joint, corresponding to the human ankle.


pathogen. A harmful invasive microorganism, such as a bacterium or virus.


peck order. The heirarchy of status or social ranking.


pedigree. The list of an animal’s forebears.


peritonitis. An infection in the abdominal cavity.


pheromone. A chemical substance secreted by organisms that elicits specific behavior in others of its species, such as queen pheromones in honey bees that keep worker bees from laying eggs.


placenta. The afterbirth, which is attached to the uterus during pregnancy as a buffer and lifeline for the developing animal.


plumage. All of a bird’s feathers, collectively.


poll. The top of the head.


polled. Born without horns; naturally hornless.


poult. A young turkey of either gender.


primary feather. One of the long feathers at the end of a wing.


prolapse. Protrusion of an inverted organ such as rectum, vagina, or uterus.


protozoa. One-celled animals, some of which cause disease.


puberty. The age at which an animal matures sexually and can reproduce.


pullet. A female chicken less than 1 year of age.


purebred. An animal whose ancestry can be traced back to the establishment of a breed through the records of a registry association.


Posterior. Toward the rear.




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Poultry. A term designating those species of birds used by humans for food or fiber that can be reproduced under their care, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pheasants, and pigeons.


Proventriculus. True stomach of the bird, located between the crop and the gizzard.


Phallus. Penis.


Pituitary gland. The master gland of the body that works in conjunction with the hypothalamus to control secretion of hormones.


Prokaryotic. cells Simple cells such as bacteria.


Pullet eggs. The first and smallest eggs from a newly established flock.


Purebred. A bird that when bred with others of the same type will produce offspring that resembles and is genetically similar to the parents.


Point of lay (POL). hen Female approaching the age when she is able to lay.


Poultry saddle. Device to protect the hen’s back from the cockerel.


Parturition. The act of giving birth.


Pasture breeding. When a male animal runs loose with a group of females and breeding occurs without human intervention.


Pecking order. The social hierarchy within a group of animals.


Pedigree. A certificate documenting an animal’s line of descent.


Pizzle. The urethral process, a stringy-looking structure at the end of some male animals’ penises.


Postpartum. After giving birth.


Predator. An animal that lives by killing and eating other animals.


Prepartum. Before giving birth.


Prepotency. The ability of an individual to sire or produce uniform offspring.


Probiotic. Living organisms used to influence rumen health by assisting in the fermentation process.


Processing. Slaughtering an animal and preparing its meat for home use or market.



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Produce. A female animal’s offspring.


Progeny. Offspring.


Progesterone. A hormone secreted by the ovaries and produced by the placenta during pregnancy.


Proliferate. To vastly multiply in numbers, usually over a short span of time.


Prolific. Producing more than the usual number of offspring.


Protein. A nutrient category of feed used for growth, milk, and repair of body tissue.


parturition. Birth process.


percent calf crop. Number of calves produced within a herd in a given year relative to the number of cows exposed to breeding.


pheromones. Chemical substances released by an animal to give signals to other animals of its species.


photosensitization. Death of skin cells in areas of unpigmented skin due to reaction of certain chemicals with sunlight — after the animal eats plants containing those chemicals.


protein. Nutrient that supplies building blocks for the body; needed for growth and milk production.


protein supplement. Concentrate containing 32 to 44 percent protein.


pellets. A complete ration consisting of ingredients ground, mixed, and compressed.


perosis. A metabolic condition in which the legs’ long bones are shorter than normal; also called slipped tendon.


persistence. Enduring effectiveness.


pickout. Fatal vent damage due to cannibalism.


postmortem. Pertaining to or occurring after death.


prebiotic. A nutritional supplement that provides nutrients for the intestine’s beneficial microbialpopulation.


progeny testing. Evaluating parents based on the health of their offspring.




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protein, complete. A protein source, often of animal origin, that furnishes a balance of all the essential amino acids; also called high-quality protein.


protein, ideal. The optimum combination of amino acids for a specific stage in life.


protein, incomplete. A protein source of plant origin that is low in one or more of the essential amino acids.


pinfeathers. New feathers that are just emerging from the skin.


primaries. The ten large, outermost feathers of each wing.


production-bred. Ducks that have been selected for top meat or egg production.


PARTHENOGENESIS. Development of an embryo in an egg that has not been fertilized. Also called asexual reproduction.


PECKING. Using the beak to bite or strike something.


PREBIOTICS. Non-digestible carbohydrate fibers that stimulate the growth and activity of gut flora, commonly used in conjunction with probiotics.


PRECOCIAL. Capable of independent activity, including self-feeding, almost from the moment of birth; from the Latin word praecox, meaning mature before its time.


PRIMARY FEATHERS. The 10 largest feathers of the wing.


PROLACTIN. A hormone, released by the pituitary gland when day lengths increase, that triggers broodiness.































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Q ,R


Quarantine. To keep an animal isolated from other animals to prevent the spread of infections.


quarter. One of a cow’s four teats.


quill. A primary feather.


Ram. A mature male sheep.


ram lamb. An immature male sheep.


ration. The combination of all feed consumed in a day.


raw milk. Milk as it comes from an animal; unpasteurized milk.


red water. A deadly bacterial disease of cattle caused by Clostridium haemolyticum.


registered. Description of an animal with birth and ancestry recorded by a registry association.


relative humidity. The percentage of moisture saturation in the air.


reticulum. The second of the four stomach compartments in the ruminant animal.


ringworm. A fungal infection causing scaly patches of skin.


roaster. A young chicken of either sex, usually 3 to 5 months of age, that has tender meat, soft, pliable, smooth-textured skin, and a breastbone cartilage somewhat less flexible than that of the broiler-fryer.


roost. A perch on which fowl rest or sleep. Also, to rest on a roost.


rooster. A male chicken; also called a cock.


rotational grazing. The use of various pastures in sequence to give each one a chance to regrow before grazing it again.


roughage. Feed that is high in fiber and low in energy, such as hay or pasture.


royal jelly. A nutritious food produced by worker bees and fed exclusively to larvae that will develop into queens. Also called bee milk.


rumen. The largest stomach compartment in the ruminant animal, in which roughage is digested with the aid of microorganisms in a fermentation process.


ruminant. An animal that chews its cud and has four stomach compartments.



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Relative humidity. The percentage of moisture saturation of the air; dependent on air temperature as well as the amount of moisture in the air.


Rumpless fowl. Poultry that lack a tailbone.


Roosting. Sleeping on a perch or branch.


Roman-nosed. A convex facial profile.


Rotational grazing (or browsing). Moving grazing or browsing animals from one paddock to another before plant growth in the first paddock is fully depleted; allows pasture regrowth.


Roughage. Plant fiber.


Rumen. The first compartment of the stomach of a ruminant, in which microbes break down the cellulose in plants.


Rumensin. The brand name for monensin.


Ruminant. An animal with a multicompartmented stomach and that chews cud.


Rumination. The process whereby a cud or bolus of rumen contents is regurgitated, rechewed, and reswallowed; “chewing the cud.”


rotational crossbreeding. Crossing of two or more breeds and then breeding the crossbred females to a bull of the breed contributing the least genes to that female’s genetics.


roughages. Feeds high in fiber and low in energy (e.g., hay, pasture).


ration. The combination of all feed consumed.


ration, complete. A feed that is supposed to furnish all the nutrients a chicken needs.


residual effect. The amount of time a substance remains active after being applied or administered.


resistance. The ability to resist a particular infection or toxin by means of antibodies or sensitized white blood cells; also called immunity.


respiration rate. The number of breaths per minute.


registered. A goat whose birth and ancestry is recorded by a registry association.


rennet. An enzyme used to curdle milk and make cheese.



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Saltpeter. Sodium nitrate; a curing product.


scales. The small, hard, overlapping plates covering the shanks and toes of fowl.


scours. Persistent diarrhea in a young animal.


scratch. The habit chickens have of scraping their claws against the ground to dig up tasty things to eat; also, any grain fed to chickens.


scurs. Horny tissue or rudimentary horns attached to the skin rather than to the skull.


selenium. A mineral needed in small amounts in the diet (too much is poisonous).


self-feeding. Allowing an animal to meet its own nutritional needs from a feeder that stores large amounts of feedstuffs so the animal has unlimited access to them. Also called free-choice feeding or full feed.


set. To keep eggs warm so they will hatch.


settle. To become pregnant.


sex. To sort by gender.


shank. The part of a fowl’s leg between the claw and the first joint.


silage. Feed cut and stored green and preserved by fermentation.


sire. The male parent; also to father.


spurs. The sharp points on the shanks of roosters and tom turkeys.


stag. A late-castrated steer or hog, or improperly castrated steer that still shows masculine characteristics; also a mature rooster.


standard. The description of an ideal specimen for its breed.


standing heat. The time during heat when the female animal allows the male animal to mount and breed.


started. Having survived the first few critical days or weeks of life and begun to develop.


starter. A ration formulated for newly hatched fowl. Also a second-stage feed for young pigs, given from the age of 14 days until they reach 40 to 50 pounds (18.1 to 22.7 kg) in weight.



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straight run. Description of newly hatched fowl that have not been sorted by gender. Also called unsexed or as hatched.


straw. Dried plant matter (usually oat, wheat, or barley leaves and stems) used as bedding; also, the glass tube semen is stored in for artificial insemination.


subcutaneous (SQ). Under the skin.


supplement. A feed additive that supplies something missing in the diet, such as additional protein, vitamins, minerals. Also to feed such an additive.


shrimp-tail.tail of some gamefowl, shaped like a shrimp.


spurs. sharp, horny growths on the legs of male and some female bird›s legs; also known as “cockspurs” or “gaffe”.


stag. male gamefowl before its first molt.


Semen. Fluid secreted by male reproductive organs; the vehicle for sperm transport.


Shank. The scaly portion of the leg below the hock joint and between the thigh and the foot.


Shell. The hard protective covering of an egg consisting primarily of calcium carbonate, secreted by the shell gland.


Shell gland. That portion of the bird’s reproductive tract (oviduct) where the shell and cuticle are deposited around the egg; also incorrectly referred to as the uterus.


Shell membranes. The two soft fibrous membrane linings that surround the albumen; secreted in the isthmus, they normally separate at the large end of the egg to form an air cell.


Sperm or spermatozoa. The male reproductive cells capable of fertilizing the ova.


Strain. Group of birds within a fowl variety of any breed usually with the breeder’s name that was reproduced by closed flock breeding for five or more generations.


Select back. Seek out through several generations of offspring the birds that have the proper, desired traits of the breed.


Selection. A process all breeders must undergo that involves choosing the specimens for breeding that conform to and match the desired traits outlined in the APA or ABA standard.






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Setting up your breeding pens. Placing the chosen male with the chosen hen or hens for breeding.


Sex-link. A hatchling created when crossing two breeds; if male, it will hatch out one color, if female it will be another color. Chicks can be sexed at hatching by the color.


Self-colored. The same color over the entire body; solid colored.


Sexing. Determining the sex of an animal. Sheath. The outer skin covering protecting a male animal’s penis.


Silent heat. In heat (estrus) but showing no outward signs.


Spin. To twist fiber into yarn; this can be done using commercial machinery, a spinning wheel, or a drop spindle.


Standard (also Standard of Perfection). The desirable characteristics of a breed of animal as approved and written down by its registration organization.


Standing heat. The period during estrus (heat) when a female animal allows a male to breed her.


Steer. A castrated male bovine.


Stocking rate. The number of animals that can be pastured on one acre or the number of acres required to pasture one animal.


Straw. The stems of plants (oats, wheat, barley) that are cut and baled to be used for animal bedding.


Sustainable agriculture. An approach to producing profitable farm products while enhancing natural productivity and minimizing adverse effects to the environment.


Symmetry. The relationship of all body parts when viewed as a whole on a given animal.


Systemic. Affecting the entire body.


silage. Feeds cut and stored green, preserved by fermentation.


standing heat. Time during heat when the cow allows the bull to mount and breed.


steroids. Hormones or hormonelike substances; corticosteroids (cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands; gonadal steroids [estrogens and testosterone] are produced by the ovaries and testes).




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serum. The clear, pale yellow, protein-rich liquid that separates out when blood clots

(plural: sera).


sinus. One of the four cavities in the dense portion of a skull bone that connect the nasal cavities, and through which air enters and mucus drains.


species specific. Associated with or affecting a single species.


susceptibility. The inability to resist a particular infection or toxin.


symptom. A subjective indication of disease as experienced by the affected individual.


syndrome. A group of signs that typically occur together and appear as a specific, but poorly defined, disease.


starting ration. A high-protein feed used during the first couple of weeks to get ducklings off to a good start.


straight run. Young poultry that have not been sexed.


strain. A group of animals within a breed that are more closely related than the general population of that breed.


strain-cross. The mating together of males from one strain to females of a second strain.


SPIRALS. Thin, spiral leg bands used to identify poultry by color code.


service. Mating.


soiling. Harvesting and bringing feed to goats.


straw. Dried plant matter (usually oat, wheat, or barley leaves and stems) used as bedding; also, the glass tube semen is stored in for AI.























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T , U


tallow. The extracted fat from sheep and cattle.


tattoo. The permanent identification of animals produced by placing indelible ink under the skin; to apply a tattoo.


tom. A male turkey.


top-dress. To place an additive or treatment on top of an animal’s regular ration for consumption at the same time.


toxemia. A condition in which bacterial toxins invade the bloodstream and poison the body.


trace minerals. Minerals needed in the diet in tiny amounts.


trio. Two females and one male of the same breed and variety.


Testosterone. Male steroid hormone that causes sperm cells to mature and enables the development of secondary sex characteristics, including feather patterns and colors, crowing, and sexual behavior.


Three-way heterozygous cross. Mating birds that do not breed true; a result of a mating in which not all the offspring resemble the parents.


Treading. The mating action of the male on the back of the female.


True breeding. Mating from which the off-spring resemble their parents in all color and physical traits.


TDN. Total digestible nutrients; the portion of usable food elements in a diet or certain feed.


udder. An encased group of mammary glands provided with a teat or nipple.


udder wash. A dilute chemical solution, usually an iodine compound, for washing udders before milking.


unrecorded grade. A grade goat not recorded with any registry association.


UTILITY BREED. A dual-purpose breed.


Uterus. The female organ in which fetuses develop; the womb.


USDA. United States Department of Agriculture.


Utility strain. Birds bred for productivity rather than showing.



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V , W , Y


vent. The external opening from the cloaca of fowl, through which it emits eggs and droppings.


vent or cloaca. orifice through which eggs and excretions are passed.


Vagina. The section of the oviduct that holds the formed egg until it is laid; located between the shell gland and cloaca.


Variety. A subdivision of breed usually distinguished by either color or color and pattern, also and/or comb type in chickens.


Vent or anus. The external opening of the cloaca.


Vertebrae. Spinal column bones.


Vegetable matter (VM). Sticks, burrs, hay chaff, and so forth in a raw, uncleaned fleece.


wattle. A small, fleshy appendage that dangles under the chin of some fowl species.


wean. To separate a young animal from its mother or stop feeding it milk.


whey. The liquid remaining when curd is removed from curdled milk as part of the process of making cheese.


YOLK SAC. A membrane surrounding the yolk where the first blood vessels form during the first day of incubation. Its function is to transport nutrients from the yolk to the embryo; as the embryo grows and the yolk gets used up, the membrane gets smaller. Also called vitelline sac.


ZYGOTE. A fertilized egg before embryonic cell division begins to take place. The zygote contains all the essential elements for the development of a baby bird, but they remain encoded as a set of instructions until incubation allows the zygote to develop into an embryo.


Yolk. Ovum, the yellow portion of the egg.
















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