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Backcross:  The mating of a two-breed crossbred individual back to one of its parental breeds. Example: A Hereford-Angus crossbred cow bred back to an Angus bull. Base pair:  The complementary bases found within a DNA molecule. There are four different bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). A always pairs with T, and C always pairs with G. The base sequence ultimately determines the effect of the gene. 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 ear tag 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. It seeks to build confidence of the beef industry in the principles and potentials of performance testing. The purposes of BIF are to achieve utilization of the most efficient and effective performance evaluation methods, uniformity of procedures, development of programs, cooperation among interested entities, and education of its members. Best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP):  A genetic prediction methodology providing the most accurate and precise genetic evaluations possible, given the information and family structure that are available. Biological type:  A group of cattle breeds having similar geographic origin and past selection history and with similar genetic potential for traits of economic importance. British general purpose beef cattle breeds, for example, have genetic potential for moderate growth, muscling, and milk yield; whereas continental European dual-purpose breeds have genetic potential for high milk yield and rapid growth. Birth weight (BW):  The weight of a calf taken within 24 hours after birth. Heavy birth weights tend to be correlated with calving problems, along with other factors. Body capacity:  A subjective assessment of the feed intake capacity of an individual or breed, typically assessed by visually evaluating body length, body depth, and spring of ribs. Body condition score:  A score 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. Bos indicus:  A subspecies of cattle of south Asian origin. Often known as Zebu, they have prominent humps forward of the shoulder. The Brahman breed is one example in the United States. Bos taurus:  A subspecies of cattle of western Asian origin but often referred to as ‘European’. Most breeds commonly found in the United States and Canada, and their European ancestors, belong to this group. Bos indicus x Bos taurus crosses are viable and fully fertile and exhibit large amounts of heterosis. Brand:  A permanent mark applied to an animal. Branding iron:  The tool used to apply a brand Breed:  Animals with a common origin and selection history. Animals within a breed have physical characteristics that distinguish them from other breeds or groups of animals within that same species.Animals with a common origin and selection history. Animals within a breed have physical characteristics that distinguish them from other breeds or groups of animals within that same species. Breed association:  An organization that maintains pedigree and performance Breeding objective:  The goal of a breeder's selection program, for example to produce high quality, lean meat at lowest cost. It may also include a listing of the traits to be used as selection criteria to achieve the overall goal. Objectives may vary among breeders due to their genetic and physical resources and their markets. Breeding soundness examination:  Inspection of a bull, including evaluation of physical conformation and soundness through genital palpation, scrotal circumference assessment, and testing of semen for motility and morphological abnormalities. Breeding value:  Transmissible genetic merit of an individual, or the value of that individual as a parent. In the United States and Canada, genetic predictions are expressed as progeny differences rather than as breeding values. Because any parent contributes only half the genes in any one offspring, the progeny difference of an individual is half its breeding value. British breeds:  Breeds of cattle such as Angus, Hereford, and Shorthorn originating in Great Britain. Bull:  A male (un-castrated) bovine animal.
Source: Beef Improvement Federation
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