Calf - Terminology

Terminology

"Calf" is the term used from birth to weaning, when it becomes known as a weaner or weaner calf, though in some areas the term "calf" may be used until the animal is a yearling. The birth of a calf is known as calving. A calf that has lost its mother is an orphan calf, also known as a poddy or poddy-calf in British English. Bobby calves are young calves which are to be slaughtered for human consumption. A vealer is a fat calf weighing less than about 330 kg (730 lb) which is at about eight to nine months of age. A young female calf from birth until she has had a calf of her own is called a heifer (/ˈhɛfər/). In the American Old West, a motherless or small, runty calf was sometimes referred to as a dogie, (pronounced with a long "o") though in the classic traditional folk song, Dogie's Lament, also known as Git along little dogie, the "dogies" in question meant cattle strong enough to be herded from Texas to Wyoming, including weaners, yearling steers and other young, non-orphaned animals.

The term "calf" is also used for some other species. See "Other animals" below.

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