Jargon Translation


"Jargon" according to Webster, means, "the special vocabulary of a particular group or activity". As entry-level investors read or hear the "jargon" sometimes it's colorful, sometimes accurate, sometimes uniquely descriptive and at other times, it can be down right deceptive. This "jargon translation" is provided by DCCI to assist in understanding sale catalog notes, e-mails, and web site terms that may, or may not mean, "what they say", and say "what they mean". Read on, and you will catch the lingo-pilgrim.

"Exposed" - a cow is in the same pasture as a bull. She may or may not be pregnant.

"Open" - a cow is assumed, or proven not to be carrying a pregnancy. Opposite of guaranteed pregnant.

"ServiceSire" - is a term designated to the identification of the specific bull accessible who may or may not have "serviced" or "bred" a certain cow.

"Bloodtyped" - blood typing of cattle, like people is nearly 100% accurate in determining who is not the correct sire or dam. Blood from a sire, dam, and offspring can be sent to a qualified lab and blood experts can tell if the offspring qualifies as the correct progeny of specific parents. Blood typing, as in people, can not conclusively tell what race or breed is being tested.

"Blood typed pure" - neither TLBAA or ITLA has approved what "pure" Longhorn blood types are. No laboratory has a record of Texas Longhorns in 1880, so no one knows the answer to what a pure blood type is today. The fact that both major Longhorn associations have not approved "pure blood" types indicates it's impossibility. People who feel blood typing can prove 100% purity are purely 100% mistaken.

"Bred" - may have different meanings.
      Bred (verb - past tense of Breed) A cow can be physically bred or serviced by a bull. (she may or may not have conceived).
      Bred (noun) The cow is Bred = The cow is pregnant.

"Preg. checked positive" - a qualified vet or experienced person can rectally palpate a cow and feel the actual calf determining pregnancy. Professional palpations can be 100% accurate at the time of examination. A cow can loose the fetus, or abort, and not actually give birth. Two percent of all mammal pregnancies end in pre-birth abortion.

"Community Bull" - is one who has been spoiled with poor fences and has learned to travel all over the community.

"Traditional Longhorn" - the word "tradition" according to Webster means, "the handing down of beliefs or customs by word or mouth without written instruction." A traditional Longhorn is one that is just the average, basic type with no special qualities to boast about. It could be "sway backed," wild or common in type. The progressive and successful producers would refrain from calling their animals traditional.

"AI or AI'ed" - is short for Artificial Insemination or Artificially Inseminated.

"Clean" - refers to a Longhorn with a trim profile without a loose double chin look, a low brisket or huge navel flap.

"Calving ease" - to a Longhorn producer it means never assisting a cow to give birth. To an average commercial rancher it means not pulling calves at birth on over 20% of their first calf heifers. To a producer of large thick exotic breeds, it means not to pull over 40% of the calves and not to loose over 5% of the cows at birth.

"Show Winner" - can be an animal that was shown to become a World or International Champion, or it could be a critter that won 4th in a class of 4 entries.

"Bird legged" - means cattle that are very trim and have small fine bones in their legs and frame. It is normally associated with cattle that grow slow and carry minimal muscle.

"Non functioning horns" - is a term used for Longhorn cattle with wide lateral horn shapes. The horns get so wide their use to hook people or other cattle is nearly non existent due to leverage and shape.

"Functional horns" - is a term given to horn shapes like a Mexican fighting bull or bison. It would be a short, sharp horn curled forward and up from the head. "Functional horn" is a term referred to cheap cattle or low quality Longhorns of perhaps the "traditional" type. Their tendency would be to fight or hook other cattle. The smaller horned cattle are less desirable, and less valuable (not good).

"Easy Fleshing" - is one of the most valuable traits for any livestock. It means they maintain or gain weight with economical or low cost feed, most generally without any feed grain input.

"Trim" - refers to cattle that are slender, light weight or extra feminine on females.

"Full figured" - refers to cows well filled out, thick, and heavy. With fashion models, "trim" is a good word, with cows "full figured" is better.

"Trader" - is a term which describes a person who buys and sells all kinds of cattle and desires to make a profit by buying low and selling higher rather than raising cattle.

"Breeder" - is a term which describes a person who has a long range breeding program designed to produce and sell related families of cattle for specific tastes or qualities.

"Hard Doer" - is a critter that has ample opportunity to grow, increase body weight and be visually healthy, but doesn't. A "Hard Doer" is poor, small, and if lactating, does not produce much milk. "Hard Doers" are expensive to own with low monetary rewards.

"Program" - refers to a game plan, long range strategies or breeding system designed with a planned result intended for production of a specific type cattle.

"ITLA" - is the Texas Longhorn registry that records and promotes Texas Longhorns. They register about 35% of all Longhorns. Every active member annually gets to vote by mail on all new association officers. A bull calf can be registered for $10 and membership dues annually are $60. ITLA stands for International Texas Longhorn Association. DCCI registers all their Longhorn cattle with ITLA.

"TLBAA" - stands for Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America. They register about 60% of all Longhorns. TLBAA is the historic association that registered the early cattle. The majority of their membership is in Texas. Members get to vote for Directors, but are not allowed to vote for the President or Vice President. The fee to register a bull calf is $15 and annual membership is $100.

"CTLR" - is Cattlemen's Texas Longhorn Registry. Unlike the other two registries, they don't except any other association's pedigrees. They strive for pure Mexican ancestral genetics of traditional or Spanish type cattle. They register about 5% of the Longhorns, at the highest fees of the three associations.

"Tip to tip" - is the historical horn measurement most used to evaluate horn spreads. It is a measurement from the exact horn tip across to the other horn tip in a perfectly straight line. It may be shortened to "T2T".

"Poll measurement" - is a horn measurement which identifies the total distance from tip to tip down and around the total horn curl. A poll measurement is always longer than a tip to tip and may vary several inches depending on the person measuring, the method of measurement, and how still the critter holds their head.

"Circumference" - is a horn measurement around the horn base exactly at the hairline.

"60+2000" - is a designation given to the highest elite quality of Longhorn bulls which are over 60" T2T, and over 2000 lbs. weight.

"Clear title" - means the seller has complete ownership of the cattle offered for sale. Some cattle are mortgaged and the seller may not have the authority to sell or transfer ownership without making a sizable bank payment. If registration papers are not visibly available and or transferred promptly, it is reason for concern.

"205" - is an average number of days for most calves to be weaned. This is the exact number of days more cattle are evaluated and weighed to determine genetic growth values.

"One owner" or "original owner" - cattle. When cattle have bad habits or poor production records they often will be sold a number of times during their life. Each new owner soon dislikes the cattle and sells them because of their particular problem. The registration papers normally will show the different owners and transfers. That is a way to see if previous owners wanted to keep the cattle or wanted to get rid of them. One owner cattle will have one owner for all, or a major part of their life.

"Crocodile Dundee" - is a cow or bull who wants to "Walkabout" and won't stay home, or a herd sire who won't stay with his cows.

"Show fads" - during the last ten years there have been two Longhorn show systems. The TLBAA show system is judged mostly by professional college judges trained to judge numerous breeds of steers, cattle, sheep, hogs, etc. The TLBAA fad for show winners tends to favor very thick, heavy conditioned, young Longhorns that may or may not have long horns. The ITLA show system fad is quite different. All ITLA judges must attend judges training, have years of Longhorn producing and marketing experience and be approved by the ITLA board of directors. The fad or type that wins shows will tend to favor a beef type animal with huge horn, bright color and critters that would sell for a high price.
Show fads may differ slightly, but quality cattle win the shows. People who do not compete in shows often are raising traditional type cattle with a type conformation that can not win under any fad or judge. Beware when people blame fads for their cattle's lack of competitive success.

"In Between Milker" - is a cow that gives too much milk for coffee, but not enough for cereal. In other words, she will starve a calf to death.

"Speaks for themselves" - is a phrase used in sale catalogs when the owner can't think of anything to say about the cattle. It normally doesn't mean anything.

"Proven sire" - is an often used term. It means the bull has had one or more calves. It's neither negative or positive. A sire can be proven "bad", "good" or otherwise.

"Goat Horned" - is a small horn set that points upward.

"Flat Horned" - is a lateral horn growth direction that grows out and not up or down.

"Profile" - is the line of anatomy created by the side view silhouette or outline shape of cattle.

"Pedigree" - a record of a line of ancestors making an expanded shape by genealogical chart lines. The more proven high quality animals close up in a pedigree, the more value to the pedigree. Each generation reduces the contribution of an ancestor by 50%. A strong known pedigree is one of the most important value traits in quality cattle.

For all entry level Longhorn students, perhaps this will help understand the jargon. All that remains is to watch your boots and don't step in the hoya-hoya!