Dzo

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"zho" redirects here. For the ISO 639-3 language code, see Chinese language.
For DZO, the jargon term used in physics and chemistry, see Depleted zinc oxide.
Dzo
Zokyo loaded with bags.jpg
A dzo acting as a pack animal en route to Mount Everest
Domesticated
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Bos
Species: Bos grunniens × Bos primigenius
Binomial name
none

A dzo (Tibetan མཛོ་ mdzo) (also spelled zo, zho and dzho) is a hybrid between the yak and domestic cattle. The word dzo technically refers to a male hybrid, while a female is known as a dzomo or zhom. In Mongolian it is called khainag (хайнаг). There is also the English language portmanteau term of yakow[citation needed]; a combination of the words yak and cow, though this is rarely used.

Dzomo are fertile (or, fecund) while dzo are sterile. As they are a product of the hybrid genetic phenomenon of heterosis (hybrid vigor), they are larger and stronger than yak or cattle from the region.[1] In Mongolia and Tibet, khainags are thought to be more productive than cattle or yaks in terms of both milk and meat production.[2][3]

Dzomo can be back crossed. As a result, many supposedly pure yak or pure cattle probably carry each other's genetic material. In Mongolia and Tibet, the result of a khainag crossed with either a domestic bull or yak bull is called ortoom (three-quarter-bred) and an ortoom crossed with a domestic bull or yak bull results in a usan güzee (one-eighth-bred).[3][4]

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