AI: artificial insemination, or the process of injecting select semen into the reproductive tract of a female of breeding age. AI use in bovines is common to achieve certain breeding goals, such as improving beef or physical characteristics of a herd.
Bull: a male bovine who has not been castrated. At Skookumchuck Farm, only the most promising bulls are kept intact, with the intention they be used for breeding.
Calf: a baby bovine, whether a bull calf or a heifer calf.
Cow: a female bovine who has borne at least one calf. “Cow” is commonly used to describe a single bovine of any sex.
Dossan: the thick forelock or “bangs” that cover a Highland’s eyes. It helps protect the animal from flies, and is a feature unique to the breed.
Finish: the method of feeding a meat animal to achieve certain results in flavor or fat content. Highlands and other bovines can be finished on grass or grain.
Heifer: a young female bovine who has not calved.
Steer: a male bovine that has been castrated, usually to be used for beef.
Switch: the long hair on the end of a bovine’s tail. Cattle use the switch to swat flies away, and sometimes, when irritated, as a weapon.