Ostertagia ostertagi is a gastrointestinal parasitic nematode that affects cattle and leads to a loss of production. In this study, we present the first large-scale genomic survey of O. ostertagi by the analysis of expressed transcripts from three stages of the parasite: third-stage larvae, fourth-stage larvae and adult worms. Using an in silico approach, 2284 genes were identified from over 7000 expressed sequence tags and abundant transcripts were analyzed and characterized by their functional profile. Of the 2284 genes, 66% had similarity to other known or predicted genes while the rest were novel and potentially represent genes specific to the species and/or stages. Furthermore, a subset of the novel proteins were structurally annotated and assigned putative function based on orthologs in Caenorhabditis elegans and corresponding RNA interference phenotypes. Hence, over 70% of the genes were annotated using protein sequences, domains and pathway databases. Differentially expressed transcripts from the two larval stages and their functional profiles were also studied leading to a more detailed understanding of the parasite's life-cycle. The identified transcripts are a valuable resource for genomic studies of O. ostertagi and can facilitate the design of control strategies and vaccine programs.