I have been doing a lot of research on cows. This week has been about Dexters. They are a heritage miniature breed originally from Ireland. While looking for breeders, I have been coming across some terminology that I have never heard of. Below is a list of cow terms that you will find when looking at cow breeder websites.
- Cow: This is a female that has had at least one calf.
- Tip: Did you know that as the cow gets older and has more calves through out the years, she will produce more milk?
- Heifer: A heifer is a female animal that has never had a calf. Once a heifer has a calf, she automatically becomes a cow.
- Tip: If you want to buy a heifer that has been bred, make sure that you find out who the bull is. You don’t want the heifer to have a difficult delivery or require vet intervention because the calf is too big.
- Bull: A male that is used for breeding.
- Steer: A male that has been neutered.
- Heterozygous Polled: One gene for horns.
- Homozygous Polled: Two genes for polled
- Scur: An incompletely developed horn growth.
For more on the genetics of horns, click on this article called “The Genetics of Horned, Polled, and Scurred Cattle“.