Livestock Terminology

General Terms

Breed – a stock of animals within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection
Breeding animal– an animal caused to produce offspring typically in a controlled and organized way
Dam – a female parent
Flock – a grouping of a species of livestock (sheep, poultry)
Herd – a group of a single species of animal (cattle, horses, swine, goats)
Livestock – domestic farm animals kept for productive purposes (meat, milk, work, wool)
Market animal – livestock bred and raised for food consumption
Polled – a naturally hornless animal
Sire – a male parent
Litter – multiple offspring produced at one birth by a multi-parous mammal. Also called brood


Chick – a newly hatched or a very young chicken
Broilers – a chicken that is six to 13 weeks of age used for meat production
Pullet – Female bird under one year of age
Hen – Female bird over one year of age
Cockerel – Male bird under one year of age
Rooster – Male bird over one year of age
Popular Products – eggs and chicken


Bovine – the scientific name for cattle
Calf – a sexually immature young bovine
Heifer – a young female bovine which has not yet had a calf
Cow – a mature female bovine
Steer – a castrated male bovine
Bull – a sexually mature male bovine
Popular Products – milk, beef and leather


Drake – Adult male
Duck – Adult female


Gander – Adult male
Goose – Adult female


Caprine – refers to animals in the goat family
Kid – a young goat
Wether – a castrated male goat
Doe – (aka. nanny) a female goat
Buck – (aka. billy) a sexually mature male goat
Popular Products – milk,* cabrito,** mohair and cashmere.
*Goats are the number one producer of milk in the world.
** Goat meat has many different names that depend on the goat’s geographic location and age of animal.


Swine – a refers to animals in the pig family
Barrow – a young, castrated male swine
Boar – a sexually mature male swine
Gilt – a young female pig
Hog – a mature swine (usually weighing more than 120 pounds)
Pig – (aka. piglet) a young swine (usually weighing less than 120 lbs.)
Sow – a mature female swine


Ovine – the scientific name for sheep
Ewe – a female sheep
Lamb – a sheep less than one year in age
Ram – a male sheep
Wether – a castrated male sheep
Popular Products – lamb,* mutton,* hogget,* and wool


Poult – Young domestic turkey
Hen – Adult female
Tom – Adult male


Equine – name of the family that includes horses, donkeys and zebras
Foal – an animal in the equine family, of either sex, that is one year old or younger
Colt – a male horse under the age of four
Filly – a female horse under the age of four
Gelding – a castrated animal of the equine family
Pony – a mature horse that measures less than 14.2hands
Mare – an adult female horse
Stallion – an adult male horse
Draft Horse – a large horse bred for hard, heavy tasks such as ploughing and farm labor
Hand – a non-SI unit of measurement that equals four inches

Donkey & Mule

Foal – an animal in the equine family, of either sex, that is one year old or younger
Jenny – a female donkey
Jack – a male donkey
Mule – is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse
Donkey – a domesticated animal of the equine family primarily used as a working animal


Kit – a young rabbit
Doe – a female rabbit
Buck – a male rabbit
Popular Products – fur and meat


Cria – a young llama
Dam – a female llama
Gelding – a castrated male llama
Stud – a male llama
Popular Products – wool