ABOMASUM----the fourth or true digestive part of a ruminant's stomach that contains gastric juices and enzymes that begin the breakdown of complex materials.

ACIDOSIS (grain overload)----When the pH of the rumen is abnormally low (<5.5). Signs of disease may include diarrhea, with or without blood

ACUTE---- Any process occurring over a short period of time

ADHESION-----the sticking together of internal organs during the healing process following inflammation, causing restriction of movement and pain.

ANEMIA----The lack of red blood cells in the body. Anemia can be the result of loss, destruction, and/or decreased production of red blood cells.

ANESTROUS PERIOD----The time when the female does not cycle or exhibit estrus (heat); the non-breeding season.

ANTIBODY---Protein molecules produced by the immune system that provide protection from infectious viruses or bacteria.

ANIMAL UNIT MONTH---(AUM)----amount of forage used by an animal unit (one cow and her calf) for one month.

ANOREXIA----A loss of appetite or desire to eat.

ARTIFICIAL REARING---raising a lamb on milk or milk replacer.

AVERAGE DAILY GAIN----The amount of weight gained each day.
  ADG = Present weight-previous weight
            Number of days between weights.

BABY LAMB----Animals produced all year-round by controlled breeding and marketed at six to ten weeks of age before weaning.

BALANCE----A smooth and harmonious blending of body parts.

BALANCED RATION----A ration containing nutrients in the correct proportion to nourish the animal properly for 24 hours.

BALE----A package of wool in a standard wool pack for shipment. The common farm bale weighs between 200 and 450 lbs.

BELLY WOOL----That which grows on the belly of the sheep.  It is often uneven, tender and shorter than wool from other parts of the body.  It is often stained and seedy.

BLACKFACE BREEDS----Meat breeds of sheep.

BLOCK READY----Lamb closely trimmed to retail specifications.  This product may require cutting into portions prior to traying and overwrapping by the retailer.

BOLUS----a rounded mass of medicine.

BONED, ROLLED AND TIED (BRT)----A leg or shoulder completely deboned, with internal fat removed and excessive fat trimmed out.  Properly rolled, will be cylindrical in shape and ideal for rotisserie or as oven roast.

BOTS---Tiny larvae that crawl into nasal passages.

BREAKDOWN----To perform the series of steps involved in skillfully cutting, boning and trimming a whole carcass into retail cuts.

BREAK WOOL----Due to illness or lack of nutrition of the sheep at sometime during the growth of the wool, a weak area in one particular point of the staple, but still above and below the break.

BREED----A group of sheep with similar characteristics (color markings, size, quality of fleece.etc.) that are passed on to their offspring.

BREEDER----The owner of the parents of a lamb when they are mated.

BREECH BIRTH----A birth in which the hind feet of the young are presented first.

BRIGHT WOOL----Light appearing clean wool, such as is grown in the farming states.

BRISKET----The breast of the sheep or goat, just below the throat.

BRITCH OR BREECH----The back portion of the sheep down the hind leg, the buttocks.

BRITCH OR BREECH WOOL----Wool from the hindquarters of the sheep, usually the coarsest on the body, often approaching hair in its characterisics.

BREED CHARACTER (breed type)----Combination of features that identify an animal with a breed such as conformation, color and head shape.

BROCKLE-FACE or SMUTT-FACE----Commercial crossbred lambs from white-faced wool breed dams and black-faced sires, i.e. Suffolk, Hampshire or Suffolk-Hampshire cross.

BROKEN MOUTH----An animal is described as "broken mouthed" when some of the incisor teeth have fallen out or have become badly worn and irregular, usually the result of old age or hard grazing.

BUCK----A male goat used for breeding. In the United States, this term is sometimes used to refer to a male sheep.

BUCK-KNEED----With knees bent slightly forward.

BURDIZZO TOOL----used to castrate lambs by severing the cord without breaking the skin of the scrotum.

BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB----A leg completely boned and removed of all excess fat for broiling or outdoor cooking.  When spread flat on the cooking surface, it resembles a butterfly.

BUTTING----method of fighting among rams by the striking of the head and horns.

CALCIUM to PHOSPHORUS RATIO-----relative amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the total ration. Usually recommended to be at least 2:1.

CALCULI----Describing a variety of stones that are found in the urinary system. These include kidney and bladder stones.

CALF-KNEED----With knees bent slightly backward.

CAPACITY (internal volume)----Internal body dimensions.

CARCASS----The dressed body of a slaughtered meat animal.

CASTRATION----Removal of the testicles. 

CC (cubic centimeter)----A volume measurement identical to mL.

CHEVIOT----A breed of sheep.

CHLAMYDIA----small organisms associated with pneumonia, abortion, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, arthritis and encephalitis.

CHLAMYDIOSIS----type of infectious abortion. The most common abortion disease experienced by the sheep industry.

CLASSING----(1) The process of culling and selection applied to a flock/herd of animals. (2) A term applied to the grading of males according to sale value. (3) The division of a flock/herd of females into various groups prior to mating.

CLEATS (clays, claws, clees)----the two halves of the sheep's foot.

CLOSED FLOCK ----one breeding its own female replacements and purchasing only rams.

COCCIDIOSIS----disease in feeder lambs characterized by diarrhea, dehydration, loss of weight and weakness.

COLIC----General abdominal pain. The source of the pain can be the liver, kidneys, intestines, stomach, etc.

COLOSTRUM----First fluid secreted by the udder for a few days pre- and postpartum. High in antibodies, this milk protects newborn lambs or kids against disease.

CONCENTRATE----A feed that is high in nutrients and low in fibrous material.  Examples are corn, oats and soybean meal.

CONGENITAL---- Present at birth. Birth defects are usually referred to as congenital.

CONSTIPATION---- A condition in which the contents of the large intestines (bowels) are discharged at abnormally long intervals or with difficulty.

CORONARY BAND----the junction between the hoof wall and the skin above the hoof.

CORRIEDALE----A New Zealand breed of sheep. A Lincoln-Merino cross, also used in Australia and South America.

CONDITION----The degree of fatness in breeding animals.

CONVENTIONAL----Early maturing.

COW-HOCKED----Hocks closer together than feet, hocks bend in as viewed from the rear.

CREEP----An area that lambs can freely enter and exit but is inaccessible by ewes.

CROSSBRED----A sheep or lamb whose parents are of different breeds.

CROSSBREEDING----Mating of animals from two distinct breeds to produce a half-bred.

CROWN ROAST----Made by adjoining two Frenched eight-rib racks with twine and bending them to form a circle.  The joined ends are secured by twine.

CRUDE PROTEIN (CP)----The total amount of protein in a feed, expressed as a percentage of the feed. Crude protein is further subdivided into soluble, degradable, undegradable, bypass, and bound protein fractions.

CRUTCHING or TAGGING (verb): The act of shearing wool from the breech area and hind legs and sometimes the belly.

CRYPTORCHID----A testicle that fails to descend is called a cryptorchid testicle. An animal in this condition is called a cryptorchid.

CUTABILITY----The percent of trimmed retail cuts, ready for purchase by the customer.

CUTTING LOSS----The actual weight lost from the carcass after processing (cutting, boning, and trimming).

CULLING----The process of removing an inferior sheep or goat from a flock/herd.

CULLS----The rejected sheep or goats from a flock/herd.

Cwt----An abbreviation for 100 pounds of weight.

DAM----The maternal parent or mother.

DEBILITATED---- A weakened or sick condition.

DENVER RIBS----Generally eight breast of lamb ribs, not less than three inches wide.  This includes the area four inches below the eye of the rack of lamb to the cartilage bone.  It is trimmed free of fell, fat and connective tissue.

DIET----The required amount and proportion of nutrients for an animal.  A diet is a formulated set of nutrients that is based on the animal's requirements.

DIGESTION----The changes in a feed that must take place before the nutrients can be absorbed and used by the animal.

DIPPING----Immersing the entire sheep in water containing an insecticide to kill ticks or lice.

DIURESIS----Increased urine production. This can occur naturally in the animal, or can be induced using special drugs or fluid administration.

DOCK----Region where the tail was removed.

DOCKING----The removal of the tail. 

DOMINANT GENE----A gene that is expressed when present either in its heterozygous or homozygous form.

DOUBLE DRESSED WEIGHT----A method of selling lambs in which the shrunk dressed weight is doubled.  This is the live pay weight regardless of the actual live weight.

DRENCHING----Treating sheep for internal parasites with an oral dose of deworming medicine.

DRESSING PRECENTAGE----the carcass weight divided by the live weight.

DRESSED WEIGHT----Hanging Weight

DROP BAND or BUNCH----These are smaller groups of animals separated from a larger herd or flock.

DRY EWE/doe----A female that is not producing milk.

DUAL PURPOSE----Sheep that have been bred and selected for the economic production of both wool and mutton.

DYSTOCIA---- Abnormal or difficult labor, causing difficulty in delivering the fetus.

EARMARK----A distinctive mark clipped out of the ear of an animal.

EARLY MATURING----Reaches high proportion of mature size quickly: opposite of late maturing.

E. COLI SCOURS---- disease that effects lambs in first 5-7 days of life causing watery, yellow diarrhea, dehydration and rapid death.

EDEMA---- Fluid swelling that can accumulate anywhere in the body.

ELASTRATOR----instrument used to apply heavy rubber bands (elastrator rings/bands) to tail and scrotum for docking and castration.

EMACIATION----Loss of flesh resulting in extreme leanness.

EMASCULATOR----tool used for docking lambs that has a crushing effect which may result in less bleeding.

ENCEPHALITIS----inflammation of the brain usually with severe signs such as fever, incoordination, and convulsions.

ENDOCARDITIS----When the endocardium or inner surface of the heart becomes inflamed or irritated.

ENERGY----The amount of calories available in a feed.

ENTERITIS----an inflammation of the intestinal tract.

ENTEROTOXEMIA TYPE C---- disease that affects lambs in the first two weeks of life causing bloody infection of the small intestine and rapid death.

ENTEROTOXEMIA TYPE C and D TOXIOD----vaccination given to young lambs to build up antibodies against Enterotoxemia type C and D. It is also available combined with tetanus vaccination.

ENTEROTOXEMIA TYPE D----disease that affects unvaccinated lambs that have been placed on high energy diets.

ENTROPION----a heritable trait in which the lower eyelid is inverted, causing the eyelashes of the lower lid to brush against the eye.

ENVIRONMENT----All of the conditions an animal is subjected to, i.e. climate, housing, pastures, range, disease, parasites, management, etc.

EPIDIDYMIS----Tubules that carry sperm from the male's testicles to the vas deferens.

ERUCTATE(belch)----The usual passage of gas out of the rumen.

ESOPHAGEAL FEEDER----tube placed down the esophagus of a lamb to administer milk or other liquid.

ESTROGEN----hormone that causes regression of the corpus luteum and stimulates estrus

ESTROUS CYCLE----the time period from beginning of one heat to the beginning of the next heat. Usually about 16-17 days.

ESTRUS----he period of time when the female is sexually receptive to the male, Usually 24-36 hours, also known as "heat".

EWE----Female sheep of any age.

EXUDATE----A thick fluid that is produced in response to a disease or infection.

EXTENDED----Longer and taller.

FACING----correcting wool blindness by removing wool from the face.

FECAL FLOTATION----A procedure, performed by a veterinarian, used to identify various parasite eggs in a fecal (manure) sample.

FECES----The manure or excrement produced by an animal.

FEEDER LAMB----A lamb lacking in weight and/or finish that is usually placed in a feedlot for finishing to slaughter weight and grade.

FELL----The thin parchment like membrane (tissue or skin) covering lamb.  It should be removed on all cuts.

FELTING----The property of wool fibers to interlock with each other if they are rubbed together under pressure and in moist condition while heated.

FETOTOMY----Dissection of a dead fetus into smaller pieces to allow for easier removal from the mother

FEMININITY----Possession of well-developed secondary female sex characteristics.

FETUS----An unborn offspring.

FIBER----The portion of a feed that is indigestible or slowly digested by ruminants. May be expressed as crude fiber, non-detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, or effective fiber.

FINISH---- Degree of fatness in meat animals.

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

FLEECE----The wool from one sheep.  The coat of the sheep usually removed as one unit. The term "fleece" correctly applies only to wool fabrics, although there are so-called fleeces of other fibers.

FLOCK----A group of sheep that are managed together.  Sheep have inborn ability or desire to flock, or gather, together.  This is also known as gregariousness.

FLUSHING----The practice of conditioning ewes before breeding by turning them to better pasture or feeding small amounts of grain.  Flushing is done to increase the number of twin and triplet lambs that will be born.

FLY STRIKE----The condition produced by the development of blowfly maggots on the living sheep. (Cutaneous myiasis).

FORAGE----A feed that is high in fibrous material and somewhat low in energy.  Examples are hay, pasture and silage.

FORESADDLE----Unsplit from half of lamb or mutton.

FOSTER MOTHER----A mother that is rearing a lamb or kid other than her own.

FREE CHOICE(ad libitum)----Feed made available to an animal at all times (same as self-fed).

FRENCHING---Removing one-and-a half inches of meat from the end opposite the loin eye of roast or rib chop.

GAMBREL RESTRAINER----restraining device that is a gambrel-shaped piece of plastic that is placed over the top of the animal's neck, with slots on either side to hold both front legs of the animal.

GASTROENTERITIS----a Hydatitosis Cysts found in the body cavity of sheep.

GESTATION----The time from the date the ewe is mated with the ram until the lambs are born, usually 143 to 152 days.

GRADE----a  sheep that has only one purebred parent and one scrub parent.

GRAFT----A procedure in which a mother raises a newborn that is not her own.

GRAIN OVERLOAD(acidosis)----See acidosis.

GRANNY EWE----When a pregnant ewe close to lambing tries to claim another ewe's newborn lamb.

GREASE WOOL----Wool in its natural state.

GUARANTEED YIELD----Selling lamb on the basis of a guaranteed dressing percentage (yield).  Adjustments in price are made for lambs exceeding or not meeting the guaranteed yield.

HANDLE----The degree to which all the attributes which comprise quality, such as softness, fineness, length and elasticity, are noticeable when wool is judged by feel.

HANGING WEIGHT----The weight of the carcass before any fat and bone have been trimmed.

HEMORRHAGE----Bleeding or blood loss.

HEMATURIA----Blood in the urine. The blood may or may not be seen with the naked eye.

HERITABILITY----The heritability of a characteristic is a measure of how easily a trait will be expressed in an animal's offspring.

HETEROZYGOTE----An animal is said to be heterozygous for a certain gene if both sites at which the gene might be expected are occupied by different genes.

HETEROZYGOUS----Adjective of heterozygote.

HINDSADDLE----The area of the lamb or carcass from the last rib back, includes loin, leg and rump.

HOMOZYGOTE----An animal is said to be homozygous for a certain gene if both sites at which the gene might be expected are occupied by that gene.

HOTHOUSE LAMB----A lamb born and raised out of the normal season and marketed at six to ten weeks of age.

HOTWEIGHT BASIS----The weight of a dressed carcass immediately after slaughter prior to cooler shrinkage.

HORMONE----The secretion of a ductless gland that activates some other organ.

HYDATITOSIS----cysts found in the body cavity of sheep.

HYDROPS----An abnormality during pregnancy where the uterus retains large amounts of water. This can be caused by defects in the fetus and/or in the mother.

HYPOCALCEMIA----low levels of calcium in the blood.

HYPOMAGNSEMIA----low levels of magnesium in the blood.

HYPERMOTILE---Something that is overactive.

HYPOMOTILE----Something that is not as active as it normally should be.

HYPOTHERMIA----inability to keep warm often caused by cold or wet weather.

ICTERUS----A yellow discoloration of the gums and white of the eye that is often associated with liver problems and some types of anemia.

IDIOPATHIC----When the exact cause of the problem or disease is not known.

IM----See intramuscular.

IMMUNITY----Protection from disease that comes as a result of the body's normal immune system response. The body's immune system can provide disease protection because of prior vaccinations or previous exposure to an infectious organism.

IN----See intranasal.

Indications for Use----The situations when and how a specific product can be used.

INTRAMUSCLE (IM) INJECTIONS---- The route of administration of an injection This is accomplished by inserting the needle straight into the skin and deep into the muscle.

INTRANASAL (IN)----The spraying or administering of a solution into the nostrils.

INTRAVENOUS (IV) INJECTIONS----are sometimes used.  Some medications are labeled for intravenous injection only, because they are strong irritants to muscle and tissue and can cause damage.  The IV route of administration provides a rapid means of getting the medication into the system of a sick animal as well as eliminating the chance of tissue damage.  IV injections are given directly into the bloodstream.

INTERMEDIATE HOST----an animal or other living body in which a parasite completes part of its life cycle and usually causes no damage.

INTERNAL COOKING TEMPERATURE----Lamb can be served rare (140 degrees), medium (150 degrees), or medium well (160 degrees) - never well done.

INTERNAL PARASITES----parasites located in the stomach and intestines of sheep.

INTERNATIONAL UNIT (IU)----unit of measurement of vitamins and drugs.

IV----See intravenous.

JAUNDICE----Yellow coloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and secretions.

JOHNE'S DISEASE----(Mycobacterium paratuberculosis): A bacterial disease causing severe weight loss and sometimes diarrhea.

JUG----A small pen used to confine a ewe and her newborn lamb(s).

KEDS----bloodsucking ticks that pierce the skin causing serious damage to the pelts.

KEMP----An opaque and structureless fiber present in badly bred wools which appear not to absorb dye and consequently is prominent in the finished fabric unless further treated in some way.

KETONES----compounds found in the blood of pregnant sheep suffering from pregnancy toxemia

KNOWN CARRIER----an animal that has produced offspring with a genetic defect.

LACTATION----The period of milk secretion.

LAMB----A young sheep still with its mother or up to about 5 months of age. Also a young sheep of either sex under 1 year of age.

LAMBING----Ewes giving birth to young.

LAMB MARKING----the act of earmarking, docking, and castrating lambs.

LANOLIN---purified wool grease.

LARVAE----Immature stages of an adult parasite; the term applies to insects, ticks, and worms.

LEGUMES----family of plants bearing seeds in a pod.

LETHARGY or LETHARGIC---- An animal which is slow to react, lacks energy, and is often sick.

LIBIDO----Usually refers to the male's sex drive.

LIVE BASIS SALE----The most common method of selling lambs at private treaty and/or auction. The buyer makes an offer for the live lamb (per head or per pound) which the seller accepts or rejects.

LIVER FLUKES----small leaf-shaped organisms that rolls up like a scroll in the bile ducts or liver tissue.

LOIN----The part between the last rib and the hip bones.

LOOM----A machine for producing cloth by weaving.

LOW-SET----Having short legs.

LUNGWORMS----roundworms found in the respiratory tract and lung tissue.

LUTALYSE----(PGF2a or Prostaglandin): A hormone used for estrus synchronization, infected uteruses, and inducing abortion.

MAIDEN EWE----A female that has not been bred by a ram.The term is commonly applied to ewes that have not had their first lamb.

MARBLING----The fat within the muscle.

MASTITIS----Inflammation of the udder.

MASCULINITY----Possession of well-developed secondary male sex characteristics in the head, neck and shoulder.

MATERNAL----Pertaining to the mother or dam.

MEAT TYPE----Breeds of sheep that are used primarily for the production of meat.

MELENA----A situation where digested blood is found in the feces (manure) of an animal. Often the stool appears dark and tarry.

MERINO SHEEP----Sheep, common in large numbers in Australia, South Africa, and South America, giving the finest wool.

METRITIS----Inflammation of the uterus.

MILLILITER (mL)----A metric volume measurement that is identical to cubic centimeter (cc).

mL----See milliliter.

MIXING PEN----A confined area where several ewes and their lambs are co-mingled after being removed from jugs.

MURMUR----An abnormal heart sound. These are graded from 1-6, with 6 being the loudest murmur.

MUTTON----The meat from sheep older than 12 months of age.

NECROPSY----The animal equivalent to human autopsy, and means evaluating an animal after death for signs that might indicate the cause of death.

NECROTIC----Decaying tissue. Often the tissue is black, decomposed, and has a foul odor.

NEOPLASIA----Any type of cancer in the body. This term is usually associated with some type of mass or lump.

NEPHRITIS---Inflammation of the kidney(s).

NOIL----The short and tangled fibers which are separated from the long fibers, known as top, on a worsted comb.

NONPROTEIN NITROGEN (NPN)----Feed ingredient that is not a protein but which contains nitrogen (an example is urea)

NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)----Drugs that decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain. These drugs reduce inflammation and are not steroids.

NYMPH----A young stage of insects and ticks that have incompletely developed sex organs.

OMASUM----the third part of a ruminant stomach located between the reticulum and the abomasum.

OOCYST----a stage in the life cycle of coccidia (a protozoal parasite) that is shed in manure . Sheep become infected by ingesting oocysts from contaminated pastures.

ORCHITIS----Inflammation of the testicle.

O-T-C (Over The Counter)----Products that do not require a veterinary prescription to purchase.

OPEN SHOULDERS----Shoulder blades too far apart at the top.

OVER SHOT or PARROT MOUTH----When the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw and the teeth hit in back of the dental pad.

OVINE----Pertaining to sheep.

PALATABLE or PALATABILITY----The taste and texture of forage. A forage that is highly palatable has a pleasant taste and texture.

PARASITE----an organism which lives on or in another living organism (host) at the expense of the latter.

PARTURITION----The process of giving birth.

PASSIVE TRANSFER----Acquiring protection against infectious disease from another animal. This commonly occurs when a newborn consumes antibody-rich colostrum from its mother. Failure to have sufficient passive transfer increases the risk of disease.

PATHOLOGY----The study of tissues for signs of disease.

PATERNAL----Pertaining to the father or sire

PELT----the skin of a sheep including the wool.

PENCIL SHRINK----A percentage adjustment in lamb live weight, generally between 2 and 4 percent, which is subtracted to insure that responsibility for weight loss during transport are shared by the buyer and seller.

PERITONITIS----nflammation of the internal surface of the abdomen. This condition is often the result of infections and certain diseases.

pH----How much acid or how much base is in a sample. The lower the pH of a substance, the more acidic the sample. Conversely, the higher the pH, the more basic the sample. Normal rumen pH should be around 6-7, depending on the ration being fed.

PHENOTYPE----The phenotype of an animal is the composite of all its tangible features. The phenotype includes an animal's external appearance, measures of its productivity, and its physiological characteristics.

PHOTOPERIOD----Length of day (or length of period artificial light is provided). Also expressed as a ratio of daylight to darkness.

PLACENTITIS----Abnormal inflammation of the placenta, usually due to infectious disease.

POLLED----Naturally hornless.

POSTPARTUM----Occurring after birth.

ppm----Parts per million.

PREPARTUM----Occurring before birth.

PRIMAL CUTS----Also called wholesale cuts.  The original cuts resulting from the first division of the fore and hindsaddle of lamb or mutton.


PROLAPSE----An interior organ pushing outside of the body.

PROGNOSIS----The chances of an animal having a normal quality of life following a disease or problem. This is reported using the words poor, fair, good, or excellent.

PROLIFIC-----Tendency to produce many offspring.

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

PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT----A feed that contains a high density of protein and is used to supply additional protein in the ration.

PROXIMAL----A structure that is nearer the main body. For example, the three bones in the foot are designated by the terms proximal, middle, and distal depending on their location relative to the main body.

PUBERTY----When an animal becomes sexually mature.

PUREBRED----An individual sheep whose parents are of the same breed.  This animal could be eligible for registration by a breed association.

PURULENT----A term describing pus-like discharge or infection.

PYELONEPHRITIS----Inflammation of the kidney, beginning at the "pelvis." (The pelvis is the enlarged hollow area inside the kidney where urine pools before entering the ureter.) Pyelonephritis is generally due to a bacterial infection.

QUARANTINE----To confine and keep an animal from contacting other animals or people. This is essential to stop the spread of infectious diseases that are potentially transmissible to other animals or humans.

RADDLE----paint or crayon applied to a ram's chest to mark females he mates.

RAM----A male sheep of any age.  Sometimes a ram may be called a buck.

RAMBOUILLET----A large bodied Merino sheep developed under French Government care from animals imported from Spain in 1786. Hardy sheep yielding good mutton and fine quality wool.

RATION----Total feed given an animal during a 24 hour period.

RANGY----A very long body, opposite of  compact.

RECESSIVE GENE----A gene that is expressed when present in only its homozygous form.

RECTAL PROLAPSE----When a portion of the rectum protrudes past the anus.

RUGGED----Big, strong.

RUMP----The area between the hip bones and the tail head.

RUMEN-----the large first compartment of a ruminant's stomach containing microbial population that is capable of breaking down forages and roughages.

RUMENOCENTESIS  (rumen tap)----When rumen contents are collected by inserting a needle into the rumen.

RUMINANT----Animals that have a four-compartment stomach (rumen or paunch, reticulum or honeycomb, omasum or manyplies, and abomasum or true stomach).

RUMINATION----the process of regurgitating food to be rechewed.

SC or SQ----See subcutaneous.



SCRUB----A sheep whose ancestry is so mixed it does not resemble any particular breed or cross.

SCROTUM----The purse or bag containing the testicles of a male animal.

SCURS----A rudimentary horn. A small rounded portion of horn tissue attached to the skin of the horn pit of a polled animal.

SECOND CROSS----Progeny resulting from the mating of true half-breeds and a distinct breed.

SECOND CUTS----The short portions of wool staples that result when the shearer makes two "blows" over the same area.

SEPTICAEMIA----serious infection in which the bloodstream is invaded by large numbers of causal bacteria which multiply there.

SHEARING----Removing the wool from a sheep.

SHEARLING----male, female or castrated sheep from first to second shearing.

SHEPHERD----A person who cares for sheep.

SHORN----A sheep that has had its fleece removed by shearing.

SICKLE-HOCKED----A hock that has too small of an angle made by the leg above and below the hock, as viewed from the side.

SIRE----Male parent.

SKIN TENT----When the skin of an animal is gently pinched and pulled outward. A dehydrated animal's skin will not rapidly return to its normal position or shape.

SMOOTH-MOUTH---- An animal that has lost all of its permanent incisors, usually 7 or more years of age.

SOUNDNESS----a:) If there are no weak spots in the wool:  b:) When an animal is free from disease and lacks structural defects that affect its usefulness.

SOREMOUTH----a highly contagious (also to humans), viral infection that causes scabs around mouth, nostrils, eyes and may effect udders of lactating ewes.

STOCKING RATE (per acre)----The number of animals that can be pastured on one acre, or the number of acres required to pasture one animal.

STRUCTURAL CORRECTNESS----Free from any conformational abnormalities.

STYLISH----Attractive, possessing a pleasing conformation or way of movement.

SUBCUTANEOUS (SQ) INJECTIONS----Are accomplished by inserting the needle just under the skin and not into the muscle.  This is important because SQ injectables are designed for a slower rate of absorption or are highly irritating to muscle tissue

SUBSTANCE----Amount of bone.

SWEATING OUT----The process of placing a group of sheep in an enclosed area and letting the body heat generated cause the wool grease to heat. This helps to reduce second-cuts.

SYSTOLE----Part of the normal beating of the heart where blood is pushed from the ventricles of the heart. This is known as the contraction phase of the heartbeat.

TAGGING----Trimming or shearing the wool away from the tail or dock area.

TAPEWORMS----long, ribbon-like segmented flatworms that can inhabit the gastro-intestinal tract of animals.

TEASER----An aproned or vasectomized animal used to indicate which females are in estrus.

TITER(s)----The immune system's response to a particular disease. The higher the titer number, the stronger the immune response. Titers are used to determine if an animal has been exposed to a specific virus or bacteria. If the titer numbers are near zero, the animal has not been exposed to that organism recently

TOTAL DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS (TDN)----A measure of energy in a feed or of how much energy an animal requires.

TOXAEMIA----generalized poisoning, due to soluble (usually bacterial) toxins entering bloodstream.

TOXIN----any poisonous substance of biological origin.

TRACE MINERALS(TM)----minerals that are required in very small amounts.

TRACHEA----Windpipe leading from the throat to the lungs.

TRANSFAUNATION----When rumen juices and flora from a healthy animal are placed in an animal where normal rumen function has been compromised.

TRANSTRACHEAL WASH----When fluid from the lungs is collected and then evaluated.

TROCAR----An instrument used in an emergency to relieve the gas from a distended rumen.

TUCKED-UP----hunchbacked and empty bellied.

TWO-TOOTH or YEARLING----A sheep of either sex from about 1 year to 1 ½ years old and showing two permanent incisor teeth. Sheep usually get 2 adult front teeth every 12 months for the first 4 years of life; after this they are then known as full-mouthed sheep

UMBILICUS----The area where the umbilical cord was attached during gestation. This is commonly known as the "belly button."

UNDER SHOT or BULL DOG MOUTH----The lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, and the teeth extend forward past the dental pad on upper jaw.

URINARY CALCULI----metabolic disease of male lambs characterized by the formation of stones within the urinary tract. It is caused primarily by an imbalance of dietary calcium and phosphorus.

URETHROSCOPY----An examination of the urethra using an endoscope.

UROLITHS or UROLITHIASIS----Describing a variety of stones that are found in the urinary system. These include kidney and bladder stones.

VAGINAL PROLAPSE----protrusion of the vagina in ewes in late pregnancy.

VEIN----Blood vessels in the body that carry blood towards the heart.

VENTRICLE----A chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. A sheep or goat's heart has two ventricles, left and right.

VIRULENCE----The ability that a microorganism has to cause an infection or disease. Microorganisms which have the ability to cause more severe disease are said to be highly virulent.

WASTY----a:) Too much fat on a carcass; b:) An animal that has a paunchy middle.

WEAN----To separate nursing offspring from their dams so that they no longer receive milk.

WEANER----An animal that has been weaned from its mother or has stopped suckling its mother (usually 5 to 7 months old).

WESTERN WHITE-FACE----A term used to describe the typical ewe utilized on large commercial range sheep operations in the United States. Historically they are comprised predominately of the Rambouillet breed, with Columbia or Targhee genetics in their makeup.

WET EWE----A ewe  that is nursing a lamb.

WETHER----A male sheep that as been castrated at an early age.

WHITE MUSCLE DISEASE----a disease caused by a deficiency of selenium, Vitamin E or both that causes degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscles of lambs.

WOOL BLIND----A term applied when the wool around the eyes has excessive growth and interferes with the sight of the sheep.

YEARLING---- A male or female sheep between 1 and 2 years of age.

ZOONOSIS or ZOONOTIC----Any animal disease that can be spread to humans.

This glossary was developed from the following sources:
Animal Health Publications
P.O. Box 28
Preston, Idaho 83263
1-877-4-AHP-VET (Toll Free) (1-877-424-7838)
website at
Sheep Resource Handbook
for market and breeding projects.
2000 The Ohio State University Extension
  It contains essential subject matter information for 4-H members taking a market lamb or sheep breeding project. This 160 page book with with a 8 page full color section of excellent pictures is an outstanding resource for Skill-a-thons and cost $6.00.  Discounts on large orders of 50 or more books are available (call 614-292-1607).
By: David C. Henderson; 1990
Published by Farming Press
This page was last updated on: January 7, 2008
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