half-sib - Animals having one common parent.
hand mating - Bringing a female to a male for breeding, after which she is removed from the area where the male is located (same as hand breeding).
hanging tenderloin - Part of the diaphragm muscle, not to be confused with the tenderloin of the carcass.
"hard keeper" - Term used when an animal does not perform well; it may have hardware, parasites, or show the effects of disease.
hardware disease - Ingested sharp objects perforate the reticulum and cause infection of the heart sac, lungs, or abdominal cavity.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) - A process used to identify those steps in production where mistakes may critically damage the final performance of the product and to establish a system of monitoring and intervention to avoid these mistakes.
heart girth - Circumference of the animal's body, measured just behind the shoulders.
heat - See estrus.
heat increment - Increase in heat production following consumption of feed when an animal is in a thermoneutral environment. It includes additional heat generated in fermentation, digestion, and nutrient metabolism.
hedge - Risk management strategy that allows a producer to lock in a price for a given commodity at a specified time.
heifer - Young female bovine cow prior to the time that she has produced her first calf.
heiferette - Heifer that has calved once and is then fed for slaughter; the calf has usually died or been weaned at an early age.
herd - Group of cattle (usually cows) that are in a similar management program.
heredity - the transmission of genetic or physical traits of parents to their offspring.
heritability - Portion of the phenotypic differences between animals that is due to heredity.
hernia - Protrusion of an intestine through an opening in the body wall (also commonly called rupture). Two types of hernias--umbilical and scrotal--occur in cattle.
heterosis - Performance of offspring that is greater than the average of the parents. Usually referred to as the amount of superiority of the crossbred over the average of the parental breeds. Also called hybrid vigor.
heterozygous - Designates an individual possessing unlike genes for a particular trait.
hides - Skins from cattle.
high mountain disease - See brisket disease.
hiplock - Condition at calving in which the hips of the calf cannot pass through the pelvis of the cow.
homozygous - Designates an individual whose genes for a particular trait are alike.
hormone - Chemical substance secreted by a ductless gland. Usually carried by the bloodstream to other places in the body, where it has its specific effect on another organ.
hot carcass weight - Weight of carcass just prior to chilling.
"hot fat trimming" - Removal of excess surface fat while the carcass is still "hot," prior to chilling the carcass.
HRI (hotel, restaurant, and institutional) - used in the context that some beef is supplied to the HRI trade.
hybrid vigor - See heterosis.
hydrocephalus - Condition characterized by an abnormal increase in the amount of cerebral fluid, accompanied by dilation of the cerebral ventricles.
hypothalamus - Portion of the brain found in the floor of the third ventricle that regulates reproduction, hunger, and body temperature and performs other functions.