C-section - See caesarean section.

Caesarean section - Delivery of fetus through an incision in the abdominal and uterine walls.

calf - Young male or female bovine animal under 1 year of age.

calf crop - See percent calf crop.

calorie - Amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 g of water from 15ºC to 16ºC.

calve - Giving birth to a calf.  Same as parturition.

calving difficulty (dystocia) - Abnormal or difficult labor, causing difficulty in delivering the calf.

calving interval - Time (days or months) between the birth of a calf and the birth of a subsequent calf, both from the same cow.

calving season - Season(s) of the year when calves are born.

cancer eye - Cancerous growth on the eyeball or eyelid.

carcass evaluation - Techniques for measuring components of meat quality and quantity in carcasses.

carcass merit - Value of a carcass for consumption.

carotene - Orange pigment found in leafy plants (e.g., alfalfa), yellow corn, and other feeds that can be broken down to form two molecules of vitamin A.

carrier - Heterozygous individual having one recessive gene and one dominant gene for a given pair of genes (alleles).

carrying capacity - The maximum stocking rate that will achieve a target level of animal performance on a particular grazing unit under a specified grazing method.  Or, the potential number of animals or liveweight that may be supported on a unit area for a grazing season based on forage potential.

case-ready - Beef cuts received by the retailer that do not require further processing before they are put in the retail case for selling.

cash flow - Cash receipts and cash expenses.

cash-flow budget - Detailed estimate of the projected cash receipts and expenses over a future period of time used to evaluate the financial feasibility of a plan.

cash-flow statement - Financial statement summarizing all cash receipts and disbursements over a period of time (usually monthly for a year).

cash market price - Price that results when cattle go to market.

cash method of accounting - An accounting method by which revenue and expenses are recorded when the cash is received or paid.

castrate - (1) To remove the testicles.  (2) An animal that has had its testicles removed.

cattalo - Cross between domestic cattle and bison.

Cattle-Fax - Nonprofit marketing organization governed by cattle producers.  Market analysis and information is provided to members by a staff of market analysts.

Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) - Responsible for the management of the beef checkoff program, oversees the collection of $1 per head on domestic cattle as well as the equivalent on imported beef, beef products, and cattle.

CBB - See Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

central test - Location where animals are assembled from several herds to evaluate differences in certain performance traits under uniform management conditions.  Usually involves breeding bulls, though some slaughter steer and heifer tests exist.

Certified Angus Beef - Branded beef product supplied by Angus or Angus crossbred cattle that meets certain carcass specifications.

cervix - Portion of the female reproductive tract between the vagina and the uterus.  It is usually sealed by thick mucus except when the female is in estrus or delivering young.

checkoff - See beef checkoff program.

chorion - Outermost layer of fetal membranes.

chromosome - Rodlike or stringlike body found in the nucleus of the cell that is darkly stained by chrome dyes.  The chromosome contains the genes.

chronic - Regular appearance of a symptom or situation.

chuck - Wholesale cut (shoulder) of the beef carcass.

class - Group of cattle determined primarily by sex and age (e.g., market class or show-ring class).

clitoris - A highly sensitive organ in females located inside the ventral part of the vulva.  It is homologous to the penis in the male.

clone - Genetically identical organisms produced by nucleus substitution or embryo division.

closed herd - Herd in which no outside breeding stock (cattle) are introduced.

cod - Scrotal area of steer remaining after castration.

cold shortening - Sarcomeres as part of the muscle fiber, shorten too rapidly during the chilling of the carcass, thus decreasing meat tenderness.

collagen - Primary protein in connective tissue.  Collagen envelops individual muscle fibers and attaches muscles to bones.

collateral relatives - Relatives of an individual that are not its ancestors or descendants.  Brothers and sisters are examples of collateral relatives.

colon - Large intestine from the end of the ileum and beginning with the cecum to the anus.

Colorado branded - Hides from cattle hot-iron branded on the ribs.

colostrum - First milk given by a female following delivery of her calf.  It is high in antibodies that protects the calf from invading microorganisms.

compensatory gain - Faster-than-normal rate of gain following a period of restricted gain.

compensatory growth - See compensatory gain.

complementarity - Using breed differences to achieve a more optimum additive and non-additive breed composition for production and carcass traits of economic value.

composite breed - Breed that has been formed by crossing two or more breeds.

composition - Usually refers to the carcass composition of fat, lean, and bone.

Compudose® - Growth implant containing estradiol and progesterone.

computer - Electronic machine which by means of stored instructions and information performs rapid, often complex, calculations or compiles, correlates, and selects data.

ConAgra - One of the three largest beef-packing companies.

concentrate - Feed that is high in energy, low in fiber content, and highly digestible.

conception - Fertilization of the ovum (egg).

conditioning - Treatment of cattle by vaccination and other means prior to putting them in the feedlot.

conformation - Physical form of an animal; its shape and arrangement of parts.

congenital - Acquired during prenatal life.  Condition exists at birth.  Often used in the context of congenital (birth) defects.

contemporaries - Group of animals of the same sex and breed (or similar breeding) that have been raised under similar environmental conditions (same management group).

continental breed - See European breed.

continuous grazing - A method of grazing where animals have unrestricted access to an entire grazing unit throughout a large portion or all of a grazing season.

controlled grazing - Grazing management designed to improve utilization of forage either by 1) allocating pasture in subunits with grazing periods typically less than 5 days or 2) varying stocking rate to match forage growth rate and availability (put-and-take stocking).

cooler - A room in packing plant where carcasses are chilled after slaughter and prior to processing.

corpus luteum - Yellowish body in the ovary.  The cells that were follicular cells develop into the corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone.  It becomes yellow in color from the yellow lipids that are in the cells.

correlation coefficient - Measure of how two traits vary together.  A correlation of +1.00 means that two traits will move in the same direction (either increase or decrease).  A correlation of -1.00 means that as one trait increases the other decreases--a perfect negative, or inverse, relationship.  A correlation of 0.00 means that as one trait increases, the other may increase or decrease--no consistent relationship.  Correlation coefficients may vary between +1.00 and -1.00.

cost of gain - Total of all costs divided by the total pounds gained; usually expressed on a per-pound basis.

cotyledon - Area where the placenta and the uterine lining are in close association such that nutrients can pass to and wastes can pass from the circulation of the developing young.  Sometimes referred to as button.

cow - Sexually mature female bovine animal that has usually produced a calf.

cow-calf operation - Management unit that maintains a breeding herd and produces weaned calves.

cow hocked - Condition in which the hocks are close together but the feet stand apart.

creep - Enclosure where calves can enter to obtain feed but cows cannot enter.  This process is called creep feeding.

creep feeding - See creep.

creep grazing - The practice of allowing calves to graze areas that cows, with a lower nutritional requirement, cannot access.

crest - Bulging, top part of the neck on a bull.

crossbred - Animal produced by crossing two or more breeds.

crossbreeding - Mating animals from different breeds.  Utilized to take advantage of hybrid vigor (heterosis) and breed complimentarity.

cryptorchidism - Retention of one or both testicles in the abdominal cavity.

cud - Bolus of feed that cattle regurgitate for further chewing.

cull - To eliminate one or more animals from the breeding herd or flock.

currentness - Marketing term indicating how feedlots market fed cattle.  If current, then feedlots market cattle on schedule.  If feedlots are not current, then a backlog of cattle usually results--these cattle typically have higher slaughter weights, poorer yield grades, and usually lower prices.

custom feeding - Cattle feeders who provide facilities, labor, feed, and care as a service but they do not own the cattle.

cutability - Fat, lean, and bone composition of the beef carcass.  Used interchangeably with yield grade.  See also yield grades.

cutting chute - Narrow chute, where cattle go through in single file, with gates such that selected animals can be diverted into pens alongside the chute; also referred to as a sorting chute.

cwt - Abbreviation for hundredweight (100 lb).

cycling - Infers that nonpregnant females are having estrous cycle.

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Mark Spurgin
Nebraska Rancher