Goat Glossary of Terms

Nigerian Dwarf kids. Define back cross?


ABOMASUM: The fourth or true stomach of a ruminant where enzymatic digestion occurs.

ABSCESS: Boil; a localized collection of pus.

ACIDOSIS (Grain Overload): A condition in which the pH of the rumen is abnormally low (<5.5).

ACUTE: Any process occurring over a short period of time.

ADJUSTED WEIGHT: Weight of the animal that has been adjusted using a correction formula to a standard age, sex, type of birth/rearing, and/or age of dam. These weights increase the accuracy of comparisons between animals for selection as it accounts for known differences in environment. Adjusted weights are often used when doing performance testing.

AFTERBIRTH: The placenta and associated membranes expelled from the uterus after parturition.

ANEMIA: An inadequate number of red blood cells in the body.

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

ANTHELMINTIC: A drug that expels or kills internal parasites.

ANTIBODY: A protein produced by the body’s immune system that recognizes and helps fight infections and other foreign substances in the body.

ANTIBOTIC: A pharmaceutical product injected or fed to the animal that helps it fight off a bacterial infection.

ARTIFICAL INSEMINATION: The injection of semen into the female reproductive tract through the use of an instrument (example: French gun) in order for the animal to become pregnant.

AVERAGE DAILY GAIN (ADG): The amount of weight gained each day during a period of time.


BACK CROSS: Breeding a first cross offspring back to one of the parental breeds. This is often the first step in establishing a grading up program or composite breed.

BALANCED RATION: A ration containing nutrients in the correct proportion to meet the nutritional needs of the animal.

BALANCE/SYMMETRY: Describes how the parts of the body blend together and result in good eye appeal and proper confirmation.

BIODIVERSITY – the number of different plant species in an area. The more species of plants, the more productive and stable the ecosystem.

BLIND TEAT: A non functional teat on the udder of the goat. It can be an additional teat that is not connected to a milk duct or one that is nonfunctional due to mastitis.

BLOAT: An excessive accumulation of gas in the rumen and reticulum, resulting in distension of the abdomen.

BODY CONDTION SCORE: A numeric value assigned to an animal that estimates the degree of fatness or condition that covers the animal’s body. This score is assessed by palpating the spine, (spinal and transverse processes) and ribs. See body condition scores for goats under goat nutrition Community of Practice.

BOER: One of the breeds of meat goats used in the U.S. This breed originated in South Africa and was imported into this country during the early 90s. For more information please see the breeds section in the goat Community of Practice area.

BOLUS: A rounded mass of medicine used in cattle, goats and sheep.

BREED: A group of animals with similar characteristics (color, markings, size, etc.) that distinguishes it from other animals. The characteristics are passed from the parents to the offspring.

BREEDING SEASON: The period when goats will breed naturally. This season usually begins in the fall.

BRUSH GOAT: This was the term used to describe any goat that was of unknown breeding for many years in the U.S. These goats were generally provided very little maintenance and kept to clear brush on property. Many showed traits associated with dairy, Spanish, and Angora breeds depending on the location they were found.

BUCK (Billy): A sexually mature intact male goat used for breeding.

BUCKLING: A sexually immature young male.

BUCK RAG: A cloth rubbed on a buck and imbued with his odor. The rag is kept in a closed container and can be used to assist in stimulating estrus (heat) in does.

BULL DOG or UNDERSHOT or MONKEY MOUTH: The lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, and the teeth extend forward past the dental pad on the upper jaw. This is disqualifying feature for confirmation.

BROWSE: Bushy or woody plants that goats consume.

BURDIZZO: A tool used to castrate goats, sheep or cattle that crush the spermatic cords to render the male sterile. This leaves the scrotum intact; however, the testicles will shrink away.

BUTT HEAD: Goats born without horns.

BUTTING: A method of fighting by which one animal strikes the head and horns of its opponent.


CALIFORNIA MASTITIS TEST (CMT): A kit that can be used to test mastitis in cows and does.

CAPRINE: The scientific name for the goat species.

CAPRINE ARTHRITIS ENCEPHALITIS (CAE): An infectious disease that causes arthritis and progressive inflammation in one or more organs or tissue systems such as the joints, bursae, brain, spinal cord, lungs and udder. This disease affects goats and is currently incurable.

CARBOHYDRATES – The major energy source found in most feedstuffs. Carbohydrates contain twice as many hydrogen atoms as carbon and as many oxygen atoms as carbon, commonly designated as CH2O. They include substances such as sugar, starch, fiber, cellulose and hemicellulose.

CHEVON: Chevon is the French word for goat. These are animals that are slaughtered near or shortly after weaning.

CARCASS: The dressed body of a slaughtered animal.

CASTRATION: Removal of the testicles.

CELLULOSE – A major structural carbohydrate in plants. A component of fiber that is poorly digested by nonruminant animals. Cellulose is composed of glucose molecules chemically linked by a “beta” linkage that is only digested by bacteria such as those in the rumen and/or cecum.

CUBIC CENTIMETER (cc): A volume measurement identical to milliliter (ml).

CISTERN: The final temporary storage area of milk in the udder.

CLEATS (Clays, Claws, Clees): The two halves of the goat’s hoof.

CLOSED HERD or FLOCK: No new animals are introduced into the herd or flock.

CLOSTRIDIAL INFECTION: A bacterial infection that can occur in sheep and goats. Some goat diseases that are caused by this infection are: Blackleg, Enterotoxaemia (Overeating disease) and Tetanus.

COCCIDIOSIS: A disease that is commonly exhibited in younger animals caused by a protozoa parasite infection. It is characterized by diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, lack of thriftiness, and weakness.

COLOSTRUM: The first milk the doe or ewe produces after given birth to their offspring. The milk is thick and golden yellow in color and contains rich antibodies. If the newborn does not consume the milk within the first 24 hours of life, there is very little chance the animal will survive.

CONCENTRATE: The non-forage part of an animal’s diet, principally grain and including oil seed meal and other feed supplements that are high in energy and/or protein, but low in crude fiber.

CONFORMATION: The combination of structural correctness and muscling of the animal including the frame and shape of the animal.

CREEP FEEDER: An enclosed feeder meant to keep larger (older) animals out for supplementing the ration of young animals.

CROSS BREED: An animal whose parents are of two different breeds.

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

CRUDE FIBER – The more fibrous, less digestible portion of a plant primarily consisting of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. A method of estimating the fiber content is the analysis of a feedstuff by sequential extraction with acid and alkaline solutions.

CRYPTORCHID: A condition where one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum sac.

CULL: To remove a substandard animal from the herd or flock.


DAIRY GOATS: Goats that are used primarily for milk production. For more information please see the breeds section in the goat Community of Practice area.

DOE (Nanny): A sexually-mature female goat.

DOELING: A young female that is not yet sexually mature.

DRENCHING: To administer an oral dose of liquid.

DRESSING PERCENTAGE: The dressing percentage is calculated by dividing the carcass weight by the live weight.

DRY PERIOD: The time when the female is not producing milk.

DRYLOT: An area with no vegetation generally an outside pen area.

DYSTOCIA: Difficulty in delivering the fetuses.


EAR TAG: A method of identifying animals by using a plastic or metal tag placed in the ear of the animal. The ID information is printed or written on the tag and then it is applied to the ear. This is not considered a permanent method of ID.

EMBRYO: Unborn offspring that does not yet have developed organ systems and is in the very early stages of development in the uterus.

ENTEROTOXEMIA – A disease caused by an overgrowth of bacteria (Clostridia perfringens) in the intestine, usually due to fermentation of a large quantity of starch, with production of endotoxin. Usually causes rapid death of animals.

ENVIRONMENT: The sum of all the conditions the animal is exposed to including: climate, housing, feed sources, disease, etc.

ESTROGEN: The hormone that primarily causes behavioral estrus.

ESTROUS (adjective): An adjective describing anything having to do with the female reproductive cycle, including estrus.

ESTROUS CYCLE: The beginning of one estrus (heat) to the beginning of the next estrus (heat).

ESTRUS ((noun, a.k.a “Heat”): The period in which the female is receptive to breeding.

EXTERNAL PARASITE. These parasites feed on body tissue such as blood, skin, and hair. The wounds and skin irritation produced by these parasites result in discomfort and irritation to the animal. Some examples of external parasites are: fleas, keds, lice, mites, nose-blot flies, and ticks.


FAMACHA ©: It is an acronym for Faffa Malan Chart; he is the person who developed a method of using the color of the inner eye lid to determine the level of parasite infection in sheep and goats in South Africa. The method is used to implement selective treatment programs for parasites in goats. To use the system properly producers need to attend training course and obtain an official chart. This system is only good for control of H. Contortus (also known as the barber pole worm).

FECAL EGG COUNT (FEC): Using a fecal flotation method to determine the level of parasite load in goats based on the number and type of parasite eggs found in the feces.

FECAL FLOTATION: A microscopic procedure used to identify various parasite eggs in a fecal sample. There are two basic methods used: Modified McMasters and Wisconsin methods.

FECES: The manure or excrement produced by an animal.

FEED ADDITIVE: Anything added to a feed, including preservatives, growth promoters and medications.

FETUS: Unborn offspring that has developed organ systems. This term applies to the baby after embryonic development and until birth.

FIBER (in diet): The portion of a feed that is indigestible or slowly digested by ruminants. It may be expressed as crude fiber, neutral detergent fiber, acid fiber or effective fiber.

FIBER GOAT: type of goat used for fiber production. The hair is harvested and used for textile production. Angora and Cashmere are two common fiber breeds of goats in the U.S. For more information please see the breeds section in the goat Community of Practice area.

FINISH/CONDITION: Refers to the amount of external fat that covers the body.

FLUSHING: The process of increasing the quality of the diet of the doe before breeding season starts. The practice is used to increase the number of ovulations to try to increase the number of offspring. It is generally achieved by increasing the energy in the diet by either using high quality forage or increasing or starting feeding a concentrate.

FORAGE: The hay and/or grassy portion of the diet of goats, sheep and cattle.

FORB – any non-woody broad-leaf plant that is not a grass.

FOREQUARTERS: The area on the animal’s body that includes the withers, front legs, feet, shoulder, chest and brisket area.

FOUNDER – Refers to a consequence of acidosis, resulting in rapid growth of the hoof.

FREE CHOICE (Ad Libitum): Feed made available to an animal at all times so that the animal can eat whenever and as much as it chooses.

FRENCHING: Frenching is the process of removing one and a half inches of meat from the end opposite the loin eye of the roast or rib chops.

FRESHEN: When a does gives birth (kid) and starts to produce milk.


GAMBREL RESTRAINER: A restraining device that is made of plastic placed over the top of the animal’s neck, with slots on either side to hold both front legs of the animal.

GENOTYPE: The specific genes that the animal has on its chromosomes. The genotype of an animal is set at conception and controls the potential performance, color, size, and fertility of the animal. The genotype and environment combine to produce the phenotype of the animal.

GESTATION: The period in which the doe is pregnant (average 150 days).

GO–BACK LAND – land that was once cultivated and allowed to go back to grass and weeds, usually for the purpose of being grazed by cattle.


HAND MATING: A breeding scheme in which a female and male are isolated by the producer in a confined area for individual breeding.

HEAT (Estrus): The period in which the doe is receptive to mating.

HERMAPHRODITE: A sterile animal with reproductive organs of both sexes.

HORMONE: A chemical secreted into the bloodstream by an endocrine gland, bringing about a physiological response in another part of the body.

HOT CARCASS WEIGHT: The weight of a dressed carcass immediately after slaughter prior to the shrinkage that occurs in the cooler.

HOTWEIGHT BASIS: generally used in marketing where price is based on the hot carcass weight of the animal rather than the live weight taken just prior to processing.

HYPOTHERMIA: When body temperature drops below that required for normal metabolism and body functions. Inability to keep warm often caused by cold or wet weather.


IMMUNITY: Protection from disease that comes as a result of the body’s normal immune system response.

INBREEDING: The mating of closely related individuals.

INTERNAL PARASITES: Parasites located in the gastrointestinal system in animals.

INTRADERMAL: Within the dermis, this is the layer of skin below the epidermis (outermost layer).

INTRAMUSCULAR (IM): The route of administering medications by inserting the needle straight into the skin and deep into the muscle. The recommended site for this injection is usually given in the neck of the animal.

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

INTRAVENOUS (IV): Medication injected into the vein, usually the jugular vein.


JOHNE’S DISEASE (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis): A bacterial disease causing severe weight loss and some diarrhea. Not currently curable.


KEDS: They are large, flattened, usually wingless parasitic flies.

KETONE: Compounds found in the blood of pregnant does suffering from pregnancy toxemia.

KETOSIS: The accumulation of ketones in the body, responsible for pregnancy diseases, acetonemia, twin lambing disease and others that occur at the end of pregnancy or within a month of kidding.

KID: A goat less than one year old.

KIKO: Breed of meat goats that originated in New Zealand and are known for hardiness. They have been imported in the U.S. For more information please see the breeds section in the goat Community of Practice area.


LACTATION: The period in which a doe produces milk; the secretion or formation of milk.

LARVAE: The immature stage of an adult parasite. The term applies to insects, ticks and worms.

LEGUMES: A family of plants that has nodules on the roots to enable them to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. Legumes are high in protein and bear their seeds in a pod (i.e., clover, alfalfa, cowpea).

LETHARGY: An animal that is slow to react lacks energy and is often sick.

LIBIDO: Sex drive.

LINE BREEDING: A form of inbreeding that attempts to concentrate the genetic makeup of some ancestor.

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

LOIN: A muscle that lies between the last rib and the hip bones of the back. Is commonly used to describe the part of the body between the last rib and the hip.

LUNGWORMS: Roundworms found in the respiratory tract and lung tissue.

LUTALYSE (PGF2@ or Prostaglandin): A hormone used for synchronizing estrus.


MARBELING: The fat within the muscle.

MASCULINITY: Term used to describe the secondary male characteristics which are exhibited in the head, neck shoulders and chest.

MASTITIS: Inflammation of the udder usually caused by a bacterial infection.

MATERNAL: Pertaining to the mother or dam.

MEAT GOAT (type): A breed of goat that is primarily used for meat production.

METABOLIC DISEASE: Those diseases that involve the lack of or unusual breakdown of physical and chemical processes in the body. Often associated with nutrition and feeding.

METRITIS: Inflammation of the uterus.

MILLILITTER (ml): A metric volume measurement that is identical to cubic centimeter (cc).

MICROORGANISM: Any living creature of microscopic size, especially bacteria and protozoa.

MINERAL – The inorganic group of nutrients, including elements such as calcium, phosphorus and copper.

MONKEY or BULL DOG or UNDERSHOT MOUTH: The lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, and the teeth extend forward past the dental pad on the upper jaw. This is disqualifying feature for confirmation.

MOTT – a clump of small trees.

MUMMIFIED FETUS: a dead, shrunken fetus usually carried to term or later by the doe. The fetus usually died at an early stage of development, but after was too large to be reabsorbed by the doe.


NECROPSY: To examine an animal after death to determine the cause of death.

NON-PROTEIN NITROGEN (NPN): Feed ingredient that is not a protein, but contains nitrogen (urea) that can be converted by the animal into protein (with enough energy).

NUTRIENT – One of six classes of chemical compounds having specific functions in the nutritive support of animal life.

NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS – The level of specific nutrients required to keep an animal healthy and productive.

NUTRITION – The study of nutrients, determining what nutrients are required, what levels of nutrients are necessary for various levels of productivity, and how to provide those nutrients.


OMASUM: The omasum is the third compartment of a ruminant’s stomach located between the reticulum and the abomasum. Known as manyplies.

OPEN: A female that is not pregnant.

OPEN SHOULDERS (Loose shoulders): The shoulder blades are structurally too far apart at the top which makes it difficult for the animal to stand for long periods or to move around freely.

OVER-CONDITIONED: An animal that is excessively fat often due to over feeding.

OVERSHOT or PARROT MOUTH: An animal that has the lower jaw shorter than the upper jaw and the lower teeth hit the back of the dental pad. This is disqualifying feature for confirmation.


PALATABLE or PALATABILITY: The taste and texture of forage and feed. A forage that is highly palatable has a pleasant taste and texture to livestock.

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

PARROT or OVERSHOT MOUTH: An animal that has the lower jaw shorter than the upper jaw and the lower teeth hit the back of the dental pad. This is disqualifying feature for confirmation.

PARTURITION: The process of giving birth.

PASSIVE IMMUNITY: Acquiring the protection against infectious disease from another animal. This commonly occurs when a newborn consumes antibody-rich colostrum from its mother. Failure to consume sufficient colostrum increases the animal’s risk of contracting a disease.

PATERNAL: Pertaining to the father or sire.

PEDIGREE: A listing of the ancestors of an animal that generally goes back 4 to 8 generations. It is often used to prove parentage for registration in a breed association. A shorter list can be used by producers to trace parentage of animals on their farm.

PELT: The skin of a goat.

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

PERFORMANCE DATA: Information related to the growth rate of the goat. This often will include birth to weaning data and adjusted weaning weights. It correctly refers to any weight and animal gain data available on an animal.

PERITONITIS: Inflammation 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. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. Normal rumen pH should be around 6-7, depending on the ration being fed.

PHENOTYPE: The visible or measurable result of genotype and environment. The phenotype includes an animal’s external appearance, measures of its productivity and its physiological characteristics.

PHOTOPERIOD: Length of day (or length of period that that artificial light is provided). This also can be expressed as a ratio of daylight to darkness.

PLACENTA: the membranes that surround the fetus while it is in the uterus. This is also referred to as the afterbirth at parturition.

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

POLLED: Naturally hornless.

POLIOENCEPHALOMALACIA, PEM, or ‘polio’ – A neurological disease of goats caused by thiamine deficiency. The rumen normally produces adequate levels of thiamine; but under some conditions, such as a high grain diet, high sulfur in the diet, stress, or being “off feed,” the thiamine is degraded, thus causing the disease.

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 hind saddle of lamb or mutton.

PROGENY: Offspring.

PROLAPSE: An interior organ pushing outside of the body cavity.

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 required for growth and the 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. This occurs around 4 months of age in most goat breeds.

PUREBRED: An individual whose parents are of the same breed and can be traced back to the establishment of that particular breed through the records of a registry association.

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

PYELONEPHRITIS: Inflammation of the kidney, beginning at the “pelvis.” Generally due to a bacterial infection.


QUARANTINE: To confine and keep an animal away from the rest of the herd or flock to prevent the spread of disease.


RACK (meat term): refers to the rib section of the carcass along the back. This is one of the highest value cuts on a goat and is often used as a roast.

RADDLE (Marker): Paint or crayon applied to the male’s chest to mark the females he mates.

Range – an area of land that is populated with native plants species, often never cultivated.

RATION: The total feed given to an animal during a 24-hour period.

RECESSIVE GENE: A gene which must be present on both chromosomes in a pair to show outward signs of a certain characteristic.

RECTAL PROLAPSE: When a portion of the rectum protrudes from the anus.

REGISTERED: A goat whose birth and ancestry has been recorded by a registry association.

RETICULUM: The second compartment of the ruminant’s stomach. The reticulum has a honey-combed appearance and is the receptacle for metal foreign objects that is swallowed.

ROTATIONAL GRAZING: A system by which livestock are allotted to a certain grazing or browsing area for a certain period of time before they are moved to another area.

ROUGHAGE: A high fiber, low total digestible nutrient feed consisting of coarse bulky plants or plant parts; dry or green feed with over 18% crude fiber.

RUGGED: Big and strong.

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

RUMEN: The large first compartment of a ruminant’s stomach containing a microbial population that is capable of breaking down forages and roughages.

RUMENOCENTESIS (rumen tap): When the 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 re-chewed.


SAVANNA: Breed of meat goats that originated from South Africa. This breed states that the goats are hardier than some other breeds and have good muscle traits. For more information please see the breeds section in the goat Community of Practice area.

SAVANNAH – a plant community with scattered, open-grown, fire-tolerant trees with a grassy, herbaceous understory.

SCALE: A device used to weigh animals, feed etc.

SCOURS: Diarrhea.

SCRAPIE: Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system, one of the class of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

SCROTUM: The skin sac 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.

SEED BANK- reference to weed and brush seeds that have accumulated in the soil over many years.

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

SERVICE: Mating.

SETTLED: A female that is pregnant.

SICKLE-HOCKED: Condition when an animal has too much angle or set to the hock. This condition, when viewed from the side is identified as the animal having their feet too far under the animal while the hock is in the correct position behind the animal.

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 at 7 or more years of age.

SOUNDNESS: 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 the mouth, nostrils, and eyes and may affect the udders of lactating does.

SPANISH: A breed of goat that was identified in the South West part of the country and is believed to have originated from goats brought over by the Spanish explorers in the 1700’s. Efforts are underway to better categorize this breed and establish breed registry. For more information please see the breeds section in the goat Community of Practice area.

STANCHION: A device for restraining a goat by the neck for the purpose of feeding, milking, hoof trimming or artificial insemination.

STANDING HEAT: The period in which the doe or ewe will stand still and accept the male for breeding.

STILLBIRTH: A fetus born dead. There can be many possible causes some related to disease others due to nutrition or conditions in the uterus at or before the birth process starts.

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.

STOCKPILE FORAGE – Forage that is allowed to accumulate for grazing at a later time.

STRUCTURAL CORRECTNESS: Free from any conformational abnormalities which includes the skeleton, feet, and legs of the animal.

STYLISH (Tracking): An animal possessing an attractive, pleasing conformation or way of movement.

SUBCUTANEOUS (SQ) INJECTIONS: Insertion of 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.

SUPPLEMENT – A feed designed to provide nutrients deficient in the animal’s main diet.


TAPEWORMS: Long, ribbon-like segmented flatworms that can inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of animals.

TATTOO: Permanent identification of animals produced by placing ink under the skin, generally in the ear, or in the tail web (of the LaMancha goat) using a tattoo gun with digital (sharp needle-like) numbers.

TEASER: A male that has been vasectomized and is used to indicate which females are in estrus.

TETANUS: Also called Lock Jaw is a condition caused by poisons produced by Clostridium tetani which is a bacterium found in the soil. Symptoms usually appear within 7 to 14 days of exposure and include stiffness and soreness that progresses through the body until the whole body is paralyzed within 48 hrs of first appearance.

TOTAL DIGESTIBLE NUTRIENTS (TDN): A measure used to indicate the energy in a feed or of how much energy an animal requires. A pound of TDN equals 2,000 calories (kilocalories).

TOXEMIA: Generalized poisoning, due to soluble (usually bacterial) toxins entering the bloodstream.

TOXIN: Any poisonous substance of biological origin.

TOXOID: An immunizing agent against toxins produced by bacteria. Most often form of immunity to tetanus.

TRACE MINERALS(TM): Minerals that are required in very small amounts.


UDDER: The mammary gland of sheep and goats that secretes-milk.

UMBILICUS: The area where the umbilical cord was attached during gestation. This is commonly known as the “belly button.”

UNDERSHOT or BULL DOG MOUTH or MONKEY MOUTH: The lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, and the teeth extend forward past the dental pad on the upper jaw.

UPGRADE: The process of grading up from a commercial animal to a specific breed through the use of backcrossing. This results in animals that are often referred to as percentage or full blood animals by breed associations.

URINARY CALCULI: A metabolic disease of males 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.


VACCINE: A biological product that is injected into an animal to stimulate an immunity to a particular disease.

VAGINAL PROLAPSE: The protrusion of the vagina in ewes or does during late pregnancy.

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

VITAMINS – Specific organic substances required for various metabolic functions.

VIRULENCE: The ability 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 the carcass; b:) An animal that has a paunchy-middle.

WATTLE: A small fleshy appendage attached on or near the throat area of the goat and which serves no known function.

WEAN: To separate nursing offspring from their mothers so that they no longer receive milk.

WEANER or WEANLING: An animal that has been weaned from its mother or has stopped suckling its mother. WETHER: A male sheep or goat that has been castrated.

WHITE MUSCLE DISEASE: Problem in young goats caused by a deficiency of selenium and/or vitamin E. It causes kids to be weak at birth and shortly after birth. The condition impairs the animals ability to transport oxygen properly and if not treated can result in death within 48 hrs of birth.


YEARLING: A male or female sheep or goat that is between 1 and 2 years of age.


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


Belanger, J. (2001). Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats.

Hart, S. 2008. Meat Goat Nutrition. Pages 58-83 in Proc. 23rd Ann. Goat Field Day, Langston University, Langston, OK.

Hart, S. 2006. Goats for Vegetation Management. In: Meat Goat Production Handbook, ed. T.A. Gipson, R.C. Merkel, K. Williams, and T. Sahlu, Langston University, ISBN 1-880667-04-5.

McKenzie-Jakes, A. (1999). Selecting and Evaluating Meat Goats for Meat Goat Production. Florida A&M University. Cooperative Extension Program.

McKenzie-Jakes, A. (2007). Glossary of Small Ruminant Terminologies. In: Master Goat Producer’s Certification Program. Florida A&M University.

Thedford, T. (1983). Goat Health Handbook. Winrock International, ISBN 1-57360-001-6.