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Caesarean section:  A process in which the calf is surgically removed from the cow during parturition by making a large incision in the right side of the cow just above the flank. Calf:  A baby bovine animal. Calving difficulty (Dystocia):  Abnormal or difficult labor, causing difficulty in delivering the fetus and/or placenta. Difficult births lead to increased calf and cow mortality and to more difficult rebreeding of the cow. Calving ease Calving ease:  The opposite of calving difficulty. An easy calving is one that does not require assistance and does not impose undue strain on the calf or dam. Calving ease score:  A numerical score quantifying calving ease, ranging from 1 for an easy, unassisted calving through 5 for an abnormal presentation. Calving season:  The season(s) of the year when the calves are born. Limiting calving seasons is the first step to performance testing the whole herd, accurate records, and consolidated management practices. Carcass evaluation:  Techniques for measuring components of quality and quantity in carcasses and using the information for genetic prediction of carcass merit. Carcass merit:  Desirability of a carcass relative to quantity of components (muscle, fat, and bone), USDA quality grade, and potential eating quality. Carcass quality grade:  An estimate of palatability based primarily on marbling and maturity and generally to a lesser extent on color, texture, and firmness of lean. Carrier:  An individual that is heterozygous, having one dominant and one recessive allele at a given locus. For example, an animal with one gene for polledness and one gene for horns will be polled but can produce horned offspring when mated to another animal carrying the gene for horns. Central test Central test:  A comparison conducted at a single location where animals are assembled from several herds to evaluate differences in performance traits under uniform management conditions. Chromosome:  Chromosomes are paired strands of DNA, with accompanying structural proteins, on which genes are located. Domestic cattle have 30 pairs of chromosomes, one chromosome of each pair having been inherited form each parent. One random chromosome of each pair is transmitted to each egg or sperm cell produced by a parent. Closed herd:  A herd in which no outside breeding stock (cattle) are introduced. cM (centiMorgan):  The unit of length used to express locations of genes on chromosomes. One cM is approximately one million nucleotides long. The entire length of the DNA within a cattle cell is approximately 3000 cM. A gene ranges from .001 - .005 cM in length. A cM corresponds to 1% recombination between loci. Codon:  A specific three-base sequence in DNA that ultimately codes for a specific amino acid used in the building of a protein. Collateral relatives:  Relatives of an individual that are not its ancestors or its descendants. Brothers and sisters are an example of collateral relatives. Commercial producers:  - Producers whose primary goal is to produce animals for herd replacement, feeding, and slaughter rather than breeding stock for sale to other producers. Progressive commercial producers seek bulls or semen from seedstock breeders that have comprehensive programs designed to produce animals with optimum genetic merit for the combination of traits that increase efficiency and profit of their production system. Compensatory gain:  Rapid, subsequent gain of cattle that have been nutritionally deprived for some portion of their life. Complementarity Complementarity Complementarity:  The combining of breeds or individual animals that have characteristics that complement each other, thereby obtaining optimum progeny. Complementary DNA (cDNA):  A DNA copy made from RNA through reverse transcription. Composite breed:  A breed made up of combinations of other breeds. Conformation:  A description of the shape of body parts of an animal. Congenital:  A condition that was acquired during prenatal life and therefore exists at or dates from birth. The term is often used in the context of defects present at birth. Contemporary group Contemporary group:  A group of cattle that are of the same breed and sex, are similar in age, and have been raised in the same management group (same location on the same feed and pasture). Contemporary groups should include as many cattle as can be accurately compared. Continental (European) breed:  Breeds originally developed on the continent of Europe. Examples include Simmental, Limousin and Charolais. Correlation:  A numerical measure, ranging between -1.00 and +1.00, describing how two traits are related. A high positive correlation means that as one trait increases, the other one usually does as well. For example, cattle with higher than average yearling weight generally will have larger mature size as well. When traits are negatively correlated, if one is above average, the other is likely to be below average. Cow:  A female bovine animal. Crossbreeding:  The mating of animals of different breeds or subspecies, frequently resulting in heterosis (hybrid vigor) for many economically important traits. Culling:  The process of eliminating less productive or less desirable individuals from a herd. Cutability:  An estimate of the percentage of salable meat (muscle) from a carcass versus percentage of waste fat. Percentage retail yield of carcass weight can be estimated by a USDA prediction equation that includes measured or estimated values for hot carcass weight, rib eye area, fat thickness, and estimated percent of kidney, pelvic, and heart fat.
Source: Beef Improvement Federation
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