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Glossary

free-range-chickens

De-beaking The removal of the tip of the top section of a hen’s beak.

Boar An entire (uncastrated) adult male pig.

Bred Free Range An alternative, less intensive, method of production for livestock.  See explination for what bred free range means.

Confinement Usually refers to the method of intensive housing for animals.  Animals can be confined to sowstalls, farrowing crates, pens, barns or sheds.

Debudding Type of horn removal procedure for calves, lambs or goat kids which removes the horn bud, either by burning or scooping, before it attaches to the animal’s skull.

Dehorning The removal of grown horns from older animals by cutting

Desnooding Removal of the snood (the part of the turkey's wattle arising from the forehead and lying over the upper beak) in the turkey to prevent canibalism, fighting, frostbite or erysipelas infection.

Devoicing Procedure of having vocal chords surgically removed (Larynjectomy)

Dry Sow A female pig (usually pregnant) that is not currently nursing any piglets.

Dual Systems Conditions when farms have implemented more than one type of production method. For example, carrying out both intensive and free range housing.

Dubbing Procedure to remove the comb from the head of the bird to prevent later damage.

Farrowing Crate A very small stall or cage that confines the sow when she gives birth and for the time that she feeds her piglets.  Farrowing crates are even smaller than sowstalls and prevent any interaction between the sow and her piglets.

Feedlot (Often marketed as ‘grain fed’) A confined animal feeding operation where pigs, sheep or cattle are kept in small yard areas and fattened on supplied feed.

Free Range An alternative, less intensive, method of production for livestock.  See explination for what free range means.

Gestation (pigs) The period of pregnancy for a pig. Usually 112 to 115 days.

Gilt A young, unmated female pig or one that is in her first pregnancy.

Litter The number of pigs born to a sow or gilt at one time.

Mulesing The surgical removal of a large area of skin around the breach or tail area of sheep said to prevent fly strike.  This ‘surgery’ is carried out with large clippers by farmers or contractors.

Mutilations Procedures which involve the removal or destruction of specific animal parts to augment livestock production conditions. These include debudding, devoicing, dubbing, mulesing, tail docking, tusk trimming, teeth clipping and wing clipping/cutting. Note: Statutory regulations require certain mutilations for animal identification. For example, branding, ear tagging and ear notching.

Pasture Land or paddock with grass or other vegetative cover specifically used to feed grazing animal.

Restraining Tethers Used to secure an animal to a specific location and prevent straying. Commonly used as a temporary method or restrain rather than more long-term confinement.

Sow A female pig that has had at least one litter.

Sowstall A small cage that confines dry sows.  The sow is unable to turn around and can only take a step forward or backwards.

Tail Docking The removal of an animal's tail by cutting or the application of rubber bands.

Teeth Clipping The cutting of piglets' teeth with pliers.

Toe Trimming The cutting of toes on poultry to prevent growth of nails or spurs.

Tusk Trimming The filing of grown tusks on mature boars.

Weaner An animal that has been recently weaned or separated from its mother.

Wing Clipping/Cutting The cutting of the flight feathers of poultry to prevent flight.  This can also prevent birds from perching or escaping predators.