Abortion: Premature birth of the foetus.
Afterbirth: Membrane surrounding the foetus and the umbilical cord
AI: Artificial Insemination. Placing semen for a male into the reproductive tract (vagina) of the female.
Barren: Infertile or failed to produce offspring.
Birth fluids: See amniotic fluid.
Bulling: Oestrus or heat in cattle.
Buller: Nymphomaniac female.
Amniotic fluid: Fluid around the foetus. Called “the waters” when they burst.
Castration: Removal of male testicles.
Cervix: Entrance to the uterus or womb.
Clone: Organism with identical genetic makeup (genome) to others.
Colostrum: The first milk produced by the dam after birth.
Copulation: The actual act of the male mounting and ejaculating semen into the female.
Corpus luteum: Structure that forms on the ovary when an egg is shed at ovulation. Plural is corpora lutea.
Coupling: See copulation.
Cycling: See oestrus.
Chin-ball: Device fitted to the chin of a bull to mark the cow when she is mounted.
Cryptorchid: Partially castrated (infertile) male where testicles are pushed up against body wall and scrotum removed with a rubber ring.
DNA: Genetic code which carries the inherited traits in an organism.
- Dry/dry – not produced offspring, barren
- Wet/dry – produced an offspring (shows milk in udder) but not reared it.
Embryo: The early stage of development in the uterus or bird in the shell.
Embryo transfer (ET): Transferring an embryo from one animal (its dam) to another recipient dam or surrogate mother.
Entire: Complete uncastrated male.
Fecundity: Measure of the number of offspring born and reared by the dam.
Fertility: The ability of the female to produce to produce eggs, get pregnant and give birth to live young. Ability of the male to produce viable sperm.
Foetus: Unborn animal inside its mother’s uterus.
Fostering: Giving a dam an offspring to rear that is not her own.
Freemartin: Female (usually infertile) twin of a male-female twin pair.
Frozen semen: Male ejaculate frozen at 196ºC .
Genetic rescue (GR): Collecting oocytes from a cow’s ovaries immediately after death.
Heat: Period when a female is receptive to mating by a male. “Standing heat” is the period of maximum receptance when the female stands very still to be mated.
Hermaphrodite: An animal with both male and female sex organs – bisexual.
Hormone: Secretions from special glands that act as chemical messengers in the bloodstream to cause various functions like oestrus and milk letdown.
In-vitro culture (IVC): Culturing fertilised ova in the laboratory.
In-vitro fertilisation (IVF): Collecting and fertilising ova in a test tube before implanting in a dam.
In-vitro maturation (IVM): Maturing oocytes in the laboratory.
In-vitro production (IVP): Growing oocytes in the laboratory to produce embryos including IVM, IVF and IVC.
Juvenile in-vitro embyo transfer (JIVET): Where IVP is done on juvenile animals.
Joining: Time when males are put with females to start mating.
Mating: The fertilisation of females by males, or the season of joining.
MOET: Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer.
Mothering: The act of a dam protecting and suckling its offspring.
Mounting: The behaviour of animals when approaching oestrus where one mounts the other. This can be female-female mounting or male-female mounting leading to copulation.
Nymphomaniac: Female that is continually in oestrus.
On-the-drop: Animal about to give birth.
Oestrus: (noun) Period when the animal is receptive to the male. See heat.
Oestrous: (adjective). See oestrus.
Oocytes: Developing eggs on the ovary.
Ovary: Oemale organ that produces eggs or ova.
Ovum: Mature oocyte or egg.
Ovum pickup: Same as TVR.
Ovum transfer (OT): Where an ovum is transferred from its own dam to another surrogate dam for fertilisation.
Pizzle: Penis of a ram.
Placenta: Organ inside the uterus by which the dam supplies blood to the foetus.
Riding: See mounting.
Rig: Male with an undescended testicle. May be fertile.
Season: “In season” is the same as “in heat”.
Semen: Male ejaculate made up of sperm and seminal fluids from various glands.
Sexed semen: Semen where male and female sperm have been separated.
Sexually active group (SAG): Group of cows expressing communal oestrus behaviour.
Sperm or spermatozoa: Fertilising component of semen contributing the male DNA.
Springing: Showing udder development.
Springers: Animals close to giving birth.
Surrogate: Recipient dam that carries, gives birth and rears an offspring that is not its own.
Teaser: Vasectomised entire male that cannot get females pregnant.
Trans-vaginal recovery (TVR): Collecting oocytes directly from a live cow’s ovaries.
Umbilicus: Cord through which blood from the dam reaches the foetus in the uterus.
Uterus: Female organ in which the foetus develops.
Vasectomy: Cutting the vas deferens in the male that carries sperm from the testicle to the penis, thus making him infertile.