Herd


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herd

a large group of mammals living and feeding together, esp a group of cattle, sheep, etc.

Herd

 

a group of beef cattle.

Animals in a herd are selected according to sex, age, liveweight, and fattiness. Herds are formed during the zootechnical and veterinary examination of the cattle before the beginning of pasturing. The size of the herds in meat sovkhozes is 150–200 head of younger animals, 150–200 head of fattened adult animals in steppe regions, and 100–150 in forest and forest-steppe regions. Each herd is managed by a team of two to four herdsmen.


Herd

 

(1) A group of mammals of the same species with interdependent behavior; that is, they remain close to one another for a significant period of time, behave similarly, often have the same rhythm of activity (for example, the simultaneous diving of whales), and travel in the same direction. Herd formation is characteristic of cetaceans, artiodactyls, perissodactyls, and monkeys. The composition (in terms of age and sex) and size of a herd fluctuate, thereby distinguishing herds from other groups of animals with interdependent behavior, for example, families and harems.

The maximum size of a herd is determined by the possibilities for mutual coordination of behavior. A herd may consist of dozens of individuals among whales and monkeys and 1,500 to 2,000 individuals among ungulates (for example, reindeer, saiga, and gnu). The largest herds are formed during seasonal migrations, after which they break up into smaller groups (families, harems). The animals in a herd orient themselves by the behavior of their neighbors (signals of the presence of food, appearance of a predator). Following the example of its leader, a herd may select a safer route during flight from a predator or during travel toward a watering place or shelter, especially during the migration period. Imitation of nearby individuals predominates in the behavior of many herd members over free decision-making, which is characteristic of solitary animals.

When animals are in a herd they permit man to approach fairly closely and possibly to control them. The patterns of herd behavior are widely used in pasture livestock raising, since domesticated hoofed animals are usually gregarious.

L. M. BASKIN

(2) A group of animals kept together on a farm for maintenance, fattening, or pasturing, for example, a herd of beef cattle or a herd of horses.

(3) The total number of animals of one species on a farm. The composition (sex, age, and production groups of animals), purpose, and periods of use of a herd vary with the organizational and economic conditions of herd reproduction. The necessary composition is maintained by planned rotation of the herd.

herd

[hərd]
(vertebrate zoology)
A number of one kind of wild, semidomesticated, or domesticated animals grouped or kept together under human control.
References in classic literature ?
I see in my mind a herd of wild creatures swarming over the earth, and to each the herdsman has affixed some barbarous sound in his own dialect.
Swine, fool, swine,'' said the herd, ``every fool knows that.
The sun makes the rocks dance in the heat, and the herd children hear one kite(never any more) whistling almost out of sight overhead, and they know that if they died, or a cow died, that kite would sweep down, and the next kite miles away would see him drop and follow, and the next, and the next, and almost before they were dead there would be a score of hungry kites come out of nowhere.
Drive in your herd tomorrow to the market-place and you shall have money down.
On the way he came upon a herd of elephants standing in an open forest glade.
The last ranks of the herd were now passing over the rails, while the first had already disappeared below the southern horizon.
I think you ought to sell the herd anyway," he went on.
Feeding with the herd were many of the little fellows not much larger than those which remained attached to their parents, and from the young of that size the herd graded up to the immense adults.
Good jumped at the idea, for he was longing to have a shot at those elephants; and so, to speak the truth, did I, for it went against my conscience to let such a herd as that escape without a pull at them.
The replies this theory gives to historical questions are like the replies of a man who, watching the movements of a herd of cattle and paying no attention to the varying quality of the pasturage in different parts of the field, or to the driving of the herdsman, should attribute the direction the herd takes to what animal happens to be at its head.
A plump young mare and a fat stallion grazed nearest to him as he neared the herd.
The enclosure contained a herd of goats which immediately upon the advent of the carnivore started a mad stampede to the opposite end of the corral which was bounded by the south wall of the city.