Animal Terms and Their Proper Usage
Livestock are animals kept by people for use or pleasure.
- Bovine is a term relating to cattle.
- Caprine is a term relating to goats.
- Equine is a term relating to horses, mules, zebras, and asses.
- Herd is a grouping of a single species of livestock. There may be exceptions to the term’s usage outside of cattle, horses, asses, swine, and rabbits.
- Ovine is a term relating to sheep.
- Porcine is a term relating to swine.
Ass is a single hoofed mammal of the genus Equus, related to the horses. They typically have a smaller build and longer ears.
- Ass is the correct term used for a donkey, burro, or jackstock.
- Burro is the Spanish term used for donkey (generally used west of the Mississippi)
- A hinny is a hybrid animal that is produced when a female ass (jennet) is crossed with a male horse (stallion).
- Horse hinny is the proper term for a male hinny over three years of age.
- Horse mule is the proper term for a male mule over 3 years of age.
- Jack is a male ass. (Note – young jacks are not referred to as colts)
- Jackstock is the plural referring to American Mammoth jacks and jennets. These animals are properly termed asses and are not referred to as donkeys, and never called burros.
- Jennet or jenny is a female ass. (Note – a young jennet or jenny is not referred to as a filly)
- Jennet jack a male ass used to produce donkeys.
- John is an informal term for a male mule.
- Mule is a hybrid animal that is produced when a male ass (jack) is crossed with a female horse (mare).
- Mule colts (males) and mule fillies (females) are young mules under 3 years of age.
- Mule jack is a male ass used to produce mules.
- Mare hinny is the proper term for a female hinny over three years of age.
- Mare mule is the proper term for a female mule over three years of age.
- Molly is an informal term for a female mule.
Cattle domesticated mammals of the genus Bos.
- Bull is an in-tact male bovine.
- Bull calf is a male calf.
- Calf is a young bovine. This term is used from the time of birth up until about 6 to 10 months of age when the animal is weaned.
- Cow is a female bovine that has had a calf. (This term may also be used for other species)
- Heifer is a female bovine that has not had a calf.
- Heifer calf is a female calf.
- Steer is a castrated male bovine or can be a future ox that is less than 4 years old.
- Ox is castrated bull that has been trained to work and is at least 4 years of age.
- Oxen is the plural of ox.
Goat the domesticated form of capra hircus.
- Buck is a male goat over 1 year of age.
- Buckling is a young male goat less than a year old.
- Doe is a female goat over 1 year of age.
- Doeling is a young female goat less than a year old.
- Flock is a group of goats. (The term may be used in reference to other livestock.)
- Kid is a baby goat of either sex.
- Wether is a castrated male goat (or sheep).
Horse is a domesticated large single hoofed mammal (Equus caballus) with a short-haired coat, a long mane, and a long tail used for riding, pulling, or carrying loads.
- Colt is a male horse under 3 years of age.
- Filly is a female horse under 3 years of age.
- Foal is a young equine under 1 year of age.
- Gelding is a castrated male horse.
- Mare is a female horse after her 4th birthday.
- Stallion is an intact male horse.
Rabbit is a mammal of the family Leporidae or the domesticated Old World species Oryctolagus cuniculus.
- Buck is a male rabbit.
- Doe is a female rabbit.
- Fryer or “young rabbit” is a rabbit that is 2 months old and weighs 3 ¾ lbs to 4 ½ lbs.
- Kit is a baby rabbit.
- Rabbitry is where owners keep their herd of rabbits in separate cages.
- Stewer or “mature rabbit” is a rabbit 3 months of age or older averaging 6 pounds or more.
- Warren is where owners keep their herd of rabbits as a group in a large cage or enclosure.
Sheep the domesticated species ovis aries.
- Ewe is a female sheep at least 1 year of age.
- Ewe lamb is a female sheep under 1 year of age.
- Flock is a group of sheep. (The term may be used in reference to other livestock.)
- Lamb is a young sheep. When referring to meat, lamb is meat from a sheep that is 12-14 months old or less.
- Lambkin or lambling is a newly born lamb.
- Ram is an in-tact male sheep that is at least one year of age.
- Ram lamb is a male sheep that is under 1 year of age.
- Sheep is a mature ovine at least one year of age and may also refer to the ovine species.
- Wether is a castrated male sheep (or goat).
Swine are even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae, including pigs, hogs, and boars.
- Barrow is a castrated (before sexual maturity) male swine.
- Boar is an adult male swine.
- Gilt is a female swine that has not given birth.
- Drove is a group of swine.
- Feeder pig is a young pig, most often between 40-70lbs that is produced by one farmer and sold to another for growing out to market weight.
- Hog is a mature swine with an adult weight above 150 pounds.
- Market hog is a hog that weighs from 220-260 pounds and is 5-7 months of age when it is sent to market.
- Pig is a young swine that is not sexually mature or a mature swine with an adult weight under 150 pounds.
- Piglet or baby pig refers to a young pig in its first 14-21 days of life and is still nursing.
- Shoat is a young hog (not sexually mature) that has been weaned and is ready for market weighing 150-260 pounds
- Sow is an adult female swine.
- Stag is a castrated (after sexual maturity) male swine.
Poultry are domesticated birds that are kept for meat or eggs including birds of the order Galliformes: chicken, turkey, natatorial (swimming) birds: duck and goose.
- Flock is a group comprised of one species of poultry.
- Trio is typically a group of poultry with one male and two females
Chicken is a common domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus).
- Broiler is a meat chicken processed at the age of 7-12 weeks when it reaches 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds live weight.
- Fryer is a meat chicken usually marketed at 12-20 weeks.
- Capon are male chickens that have been castrated and they are harvested at 4-8 months old. They weigh 5-9 pounds and produce more white meat and have higher fat content than other chickens.
- Chick is a newly hatched or a very young chicken.
- Cock is a male chicken at least one year of age or older.
- Cockerel is a male chicken less than one year old.
- Cornish game hens are a cross between a Cornish and Plymouth Rock chicken (although originally they were pure Cornish), 4-5 weeks old, weighing about 2 pounds. They may be of either sex.
- Hen is a female chicken at least one year of age.
- Poussin or “spring chicken” is a young chicken, 3-4 weeks old, weighing about 1 pound that is prepared as a single serving.
- Pullet is a female chicken less than one year of age. A pullet is, in industry, a young female that has yet to start laying eggs
- Roasters are chickens that are 6-12 months of age weighing 4-7 pounds.
- Rooster is a male chicken over one year of age.
- Stewing fowl is a mature male or female chicken over one year of age.
Ducks are any wild or domesticated swimming birds of the family Anatidae, typically having a broad, flat bill, short legs, and webbed feet.
- Drake is an adult male duck.
- Duck can refer to a female of the duck family.
- Ducklings are baby ducks.
- Old drake is a male duck over 1 year of age.
- Old duck is a female duck over 1 year of age.
- Young drake is a male duck under 1 year of age.
- Young duck is a female duck under 1 year of age.
Geese are wild or domesticated water birds of the family Anatidae and of the genera Anser and Branta that typically have a shorter neck than a swan and a shorter, more pointed bill than a duck.
- Gander is a male goose over 1 year of age. (Also referred to as old gander.)
- Goose is the singular of geese or a female goose.
- Gosling is a young goose up until feathers have replaced all of their down.
- Old goose is a female goose over 1 year of age.
- Young gander is a male goose under 1 year of age.
- Young goose is a female goose under 1 year of age.
Turkey is a large North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that is widely domesticated for food and comes in many varieties.
- Hen is a female turkey over one year of age.
- Old hen is a female turkey over one year of age.
- Old tom is a male turkey over 1 year of age.
- Poult is a young domestic (not wild) turkey.
- Tom is a male turkey.
- Young hen is a female turkey under 1 year of age.
- Young tom is a male turkey under 1 year of age.