Twins??

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.
1wlimo
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Twins??

Post by 1wlimo » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:55 am

Thru out time we have bred certain pigs, and sheep etc to have as many young at a time as possiable. We have also bred cows into a lot of different breeds, shapes, sizes, etc for lots of reasons. Did any body try to breed a cow that would have a higher percentage of twins?

I know there is lots of reasons why you would not want twins, but you can get a milk cow to raise several cavles in a year.



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Re: Twins??

Post by DRSCfarm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:12 am

Twins are just a problem waiting to happen. I would never try to breed for them.

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Re: Twins??

Post by redcowsrule33 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:59 am

1wlimo wrote:Thru out time we have bred certain pigs, and sheep etc to have as many young at a time as possiable. We have also bred cows into a lot of different breeds, shapes, sizes, etc for lots of reasons. Did any body try to breed a cow that would have a higher percentage of twins?

I know there is lots of reasons why you would not want twins, but you can get a milk cow to raise several cavles in a year.


They were called Twinner cattle. If you Google them now you will find a lot of links with a dead-end, which lets you know how well that worked out. Twins are nothing but a pain in the a$$ and I personally would never intentionally breed for them. Cows were not designed to have litter IMHO.
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Re: Twins??

Post by vclavin » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:36 pm

redcowsrule33 wrote:
1wlimo wrote:Thru out time we have bred certain pigs, and sheep etc to have as many young at a time as possiable. We have also bred cows into a lot of different breeds, shapes, sizes, etc for lots of reasons. Did any body try to breed a cow that would have a higher percentage of twins?

I know there is lots of reasons why you would not want twins, but you can get a milk cow to raise several cavles in a year.


They were called Twinner cattle. If you Google them now you will find a lot of links with a dead-end, which lets you know how well that worked out. Twins are nothing but a pain in the a$$ and I personally would never intentionally breed for them. Cows were not designed to have litter IMHO.


Then why have 4 quarters? One would certainly do for 1 calf? Did you hear about the cow that had "litters" ... yes, 4-5 at a time and every time she calved.
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Re: Twins??

Post by 1wlimo » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:35 pm

Thanks for the info,

there was a cow close to here that had multiple calves three times in a row, two lots of tiwns then tripletts I think.

It could make financial sence in well managed herds, not if you were on open range.

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Re: Twins??

Post by vclavin » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:01 pm

1wlimo wrote:Thanks for the info,

there was a cow close to here that had multiple calves three times in a row, two lots of tiwns then tripletts I think.

It could make financial sence in well managed herds, not if you were on open range.


We have no problems with twins, but then, we are a small herd and able to handle them. Never lost a twin.
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Re: Twins??

Post by cowtex » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:08 pm

No problem until you have 1 male and 1 female. Then you have a problem.
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Re: Twins??

Post by vclavin » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:11 pm

cowtex wrote:No problem until you have 1 male and 1 female. Then you have a problem.


Understand, I should have said we never lost a twin except for the heifer that we discovered as a freemartin and no twin.... momma must have aborted him-lol
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Re: Twins??

Post by randiliana » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:49 am

cowtex wrote:No problem until you have 1 male and 1 female. Then you have a problem.


Well, you know, if you're really in the business of raising them for beef that really isn't a big problem either.

I don't have a big problem with twins. We've lost the odd one here and there, but on the whole, the extra calf is usually worth enough to make up for the extra work.
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Re: Think twice about twins

Post by kjonesel » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:33 pm

I grew up on a 400 cow dairy and over the years we had a few sets of twins. With twins you are faced with calving complecations sometimes with one's legs coming out under the other calf, both of them trying to enter the birth canal together, one being born dead because it possibly had it's cord around the other one. I can't remember but the bovine has a different sac than say a hog or other animal that has multible young. In twenty years on Dad's dairy we never had a "free martin" (twins of opposite sexes) female breed. So if you do have a set which consists of a heifer and bull just go ahead and feed out the heifer. As the other people told you it takes additional management in a beef herd to work with twins and I personally wouldn't want it. Now I have read several stories where in the Gelbvieh breed twins are more common than other breeds and Gelbviehs are known as great mothers. I really don't want to be blessed with them.

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Re: Twins??

Post by piedmontese » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:58 pm

twins suck!!! never have good luck with them.

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Re: Twins??

Post by 1wlimo » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:26 pm

piedmontese wrote:twins suck!!! never have good luck with them.


Yes twins can "suck" or be hard work. If you had a high number of twins then the management system would need to be set to cope with them.

If you had "Twinner" cattle that could achive 150 to 200% calving and the management system was set up to cope, would that be more work over the year to achive a set number of calves compared to a standard herd?

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Re: Twins??

Post by Chris H » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:09 pm

In the last 10 years, calving about 50 head a year, we average 7% twin births. Most of our cows can not feed two calves well. But a spare comes in handy if you lose another calf, that's a plus. Most every thing else is negative.
In the last 10 years, we've had 3 tail first presentations, 2 of which were twin births. This year we had a set of twins, the first was tail first & upside down. It was born dead, but the second was alive. It was rough on the cow, but she's coming around.

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Re: Twins??

Post by redcowsrule33 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:08 pm

If you count the stress on the cows, the stress on you, the lost calves, the bottle calves, the lighter weaning weights, the potential for decreased fertility in the cows, the higher incidence of malpresentations... in my mind I can't see that ever being more profitable. If you want that level of stress at birthing time raise sheep. :help:

vclavin wrote:Then why have 4 quarters? One would certainly do for 1 calf? Valerie


I hope you were kidding with that statement Valerie....
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Re: Twins??

Post by 1wlimo » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:28 pm

[quote="redcowsrule33"]If you count the stress on the cows, the stress on you, the lost calves, the bottle calves, the lighter weaning weights, the potential for decreased fertility in the cows, the higher incidence of malpresentations... in my mind I can't see that ever being more profitable. If you want that level of stress at birthing time raise sheep. :help:

Yes I used to custom lamb, 1500 ewes on pasture, and there was a much higher asistance rate, lambing problems etc. That was in flocks aiming at 90 to 150%. I have never had anything to do with ewes where they expect 350 to 400%.

I would have thought that if you were breeding a "twinner" breed then you would want to choose an easy calving, high maternal base cows and bulls. I would also not expect great results in 10. 20 or may be even 30 years of breeding. Looks like most of the breeds we use today were bred over a long period of time.

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