scale - (1) Size of cattle.  (2) Equipment on which an animal is weighed.

scours - Diarrhea; profuse watery discharge from the intestines.

scrotal circumference - Measure of testes size obtained by measuring the distance around the testicles in the scrotum with a circular tape.  Related to the bull's semen-producing capacity and age at puberty of his daughters.

scrotum - Pouch that contains the testicles.  Also a thermoregulatory organ that contracts when cold and relaxes when warm, thus tending to keep the testes at a lower temperature than that of the body.

scurs - Small growths of hornlike tissue attached to the skin of polled or dehorned animls.

seam fat - See intermuscular fat.

seedstock - Breeding animals.  Sometimes used interchangeably with purebred.

seedstock breeders - producers of breeding stock for purebred and commercial breeders.

Select - USDA carcass quality grade between Choice and Standard.  It replaced the Good grade in 1988.

selection - Differential reproduction (e.g., a bull or cow may leave several, one, or no offspring in a herd).

selection differential (reach) - Difference between the average for a trait in selected animals and the average of the group from which they come.  Also called reach.

selection index - Formula that combines performance records from several traits or different measurements of the same trait into a single value for each animal.  A selection index combines traits after balancing their relative net economic importance, their heritabilities, and the genetic association among the traits.

self-management - Managing oneself as part of human resource management (e.g., time management, information management, self-motivation, honesty).

semen - Fluid containing sperm that is ejaculated by the male.  Secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate gland, bulbourethral glands, and urethral glands provide most of the fluid.

seminal vesicles - Accessory sex glands of the male that provide a portion of the fluid of semen.

served - Female is bred but not guaranteed pregnant.

service - To breed or mate.

settle - To become pregnant.

shipping fever - Widespread respiratory disease of cattle.

short yearling - Animal is over 1 year of age but under 18 months of age.

"show list" or "show pens" - Slaughter cattle that are ready for the cattle feeder to "show" the packer buyers.

shrink - Loss of weight; commonly used in the loss of liveweight when animals are marketed.

sib - Brother or sister.

sick pen - Isolated pen in a feedlot where cattle are treated after they have been removed from a feedlot pen.  Sometimes referred to as a hospital pen.

sickle hocked - Hocks that have too much set, causing the hind feet to be too far forward and too far under the animal.

silage - Forage, corn fodder, or sorghum preserved by fermentation that produces acids similar to the acids used to make pickled foods for people.

sire - Male parent.

sire summary - Published results of national sire evaluation programs that give EPDs and accuracies for several economically important traits.  Several major breed associations publish their own sire summaries.

size - Usually refers to weight, sometimes to height.

skins - See hides.

skirt - Diaphragm muscle in the beef carcass.

software - Program instructions to make computer hardware function.

sonoray - See ultrasound.

soundness - Degree of freedom from injury or defect. 

SPA - See Standard Performance Analysis.

spay - To remove the ovaries.

sperm - A mature male germ cell.

specifications - A detailed description, with numerical designations, of animal performance or product quantity.

spermatogenesis - Process of spermatozoa formation.

splay footed - See toeing out.

stag - Castrated male that has reached sexual maturity prior to castration.

standard deviation - For traits having a normal distribution characterized by a bell shaped curve, 68% of the population = mean (average) ? 1 standard deviation, 95% = mean ? 2 standard deviations, and 99% = mean ? 3 standard deviations.

Standard Performance Analysis (SPA) - Program to determine the unit cost of production for the cow-calf enterprise.

steer - Bovine male castrated prior to puberty.

sterility - Inability to produce offspring.

stifle - Joint of the hindleg between the femur and tibia.

stifled - Injury of the stifle joint.

stillborn - Offspring born dead without previously breathing.

stocker - Weaned cattle that are fed high-roughage diets (including grazing) before going into the feedlot.

stocking rate - The number of animals, animal units or total animal liveweight assigned to a grazing unit for an extended period of time.  Stocking rates are usually expressed on a per-acre basis.

stocking density - The number of animals, animal units or total animal liveweight present at a particular point in time on a defined area (paddock).  Stocking density is usually defined on a per-acre basis.

stockpiling - The practice of allowing forage to accumulate for grazing at a later date.  Most commonly done with late summer and fall forage growth for fall and (or) winter grazing.

strip grazing - The practice of dividing a larger pasture into strips with movable fences to control grazing access.

straightbred - Animal whose parentage has been from one breed.

stress - Unusual or abnormal influence causing a change in an animal's function, structure, or behavior.

subcutaneous - Situated beneath, or occurring beneath, the skin.  A subcutaneous injection is an injection made under the skin.

subprimal cuts - Smaller-than-primal cuts, such as when the primal round is split into top round, bottom round, eye round, and sirloin tip.  Subprimal cuts are used in boxed beef programs.

success - Progressive realization of predetermined, worthwhile goals that are based on true principles.

suckling gain - Gain that a young animal makes from birth until it is weaned.

superovulation - Hormonally induced ovulation in which a greater-than-normal number of eggs are typically produced.

sweetbread - Edible by-product also known as the pancreas.

switch - Tuft of long hair at the end of the tail.

syndactyly - Union of two or more digits; for example, in cattle the two toes would be a solid hoof.

Synovex® - Growth implant containing estradiol.  Different types are used in calves (Synovex-C®), feeder steers (Synovex-S®), and feeder heifers (Synovex-H®).

synthetic breeds - See composite breed.

systems analysis - See management systems.

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Mark Spurgin
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