Here is one to scratch your head...

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Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Fire Sweep Ranch » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:15 pm

We have our spring calving group at our other farm about 3 miles away. I went to check on them Saturday, and found a first calf heifer, what I thought, dead! Saw her from the road, belly up. I jumped the fence and ran over to her, and found her with her eyes rolled to the back of her head on her head arched all the way back. She blinked, and I knew I had to act fast. I rolled her up on her side (she was perched downhill), and saw a calf behind her. We do not use a bull, so I know when our cattle are due! Her due date was 2/8 (AI bred on 4/29, 285 day gestation). I finally get her on her feet, but she stumbles and falls. I noticed parts of a second calf hanging out of her, so I run my arm in her looking for a second calf, but could not find anything. The second calf is very small, and only seems to have a head and intestines (inside out calf was my first thought).
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I call my vet, who of course, is out of town! Call my daughter to hook up the truck and trailer and leave my son with the heifer and calf (who has a VERY swollen face) to drive home to get the trailer. Thankfully, our girls are all halter broke, so we slip a halter on her, put her calf in a wheelbarrow, and walk them to the trailer and bring them home. Heifer is very weak and wobbly. My vet calls me, because he recognized my number. Advises getting her in the chute at home and palp her for the second calf, give dex for swelling on the heifer, IV, and tube calf with colostrum (and give him dex for the swelling, sq). I glove up, and follow the string of intestines back inside to the placenta, but can not feel any other structures inside.
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Vet calls me back, and after looking at my records thinks these are two calves from two different pregnancies! He said in his career, he has only seen that twice before (he is in his late 50's). She was AI'd on 3/13, came back in heat 19 days later, 4/1, so she had an embryo implanted. 28 days later she came back in standing heat, so we AI'd her assuming she slipped the embryo (she cycled like clockwork betweek 18 and 19 days). Going off the last AI date, and her last standing heat, she would have been due 2/8. If she stuck the embryo, her due date would have been 1/9. The live calf she had is 88 pounds, so full term and no way due 2/8. I will have to DNA the calf to verify sire, but you have to admit this is extremely interesting. We saved the second, dead and partial calf for our vet to exam when he gets back in town on Monday. We have an apt today at 1:30, since she has not passed her placenta and I have a few other things I need him to do (bull BSE, ultrasound a few females...).

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Both have good appetites also
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It could be amorphus globosus, but that would mean the embryo split, which is also very rare. I'll post again when the vet is done.
Last edited by Fire Sweep Ranch on Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Nesikep » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:57 pm

Wow, good save! Be interesting to know more about the details of this!
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Till-Hill » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:06 pm

Might want to call Simmental but I have heard on deal like that that some dna was shared on the 2 calves in cow and could never get it to dna to sire. Might need dna from doa calf too!

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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Silver » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:26 pm

Well that's something new to me!

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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by bball » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:01 pm

Wow! That's a real stunner! Good job looking after your cattle, else the outcome would have been horrific. Very curious to see what the vet thinks post examination of products of conception.
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Fire Sweep Ranch » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:45 pm

OK, so the second partial calf is, in fact, a calf. When he cut into the blob, there were teeth and part of a skull.

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There was an umbilicus and intestines.



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His theory? It is one of two things; the calf is the result of an embryo and the blob is a twin that was split after implantation and never formed completely. The second scenario is that the blob is the result of the second breeding, and never formed right.

I did try to call ASA today, because this calf will need to be DNA'd. I was on hold for 10 minutes, then sent to a voice mail to leave a message. I never got a call back. If the live calf is a twin, the DNA will be ran by hair sample. I have that situation right now; we had an embryo that spit and only one calf survived. ASA sent me a hair card instead of a blood card. I guess the blood does not match for some reason, but the hair does. I never knew that one!

On a side note, we have had an odd year at calving. In the 12 years we have been breeding beef cattle, we have had I think 4 total sets of twins. This fall alone, this would have been a 4th set if it is in fact a twin.
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by bball » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:25 pm

Possibly the bovine equivalent of an ovarian dermoid cyst in human females??
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by farmerjan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:33 pm

Had a dairy cow, on a farm I milked on, one time that carried 2 calves from 2 breedings, and surprising, they both were born live, at separate times. The vet had never seen that and it was the "talk of the town". Said that it was so rare that both would be alive, and that the first "delivery" did not cause the second calf to be delivered. One was definitely holstein, the other was angus x. The second was smaller, but it was solid black, and POLLED; the first was definitely holstein and had horns so could not have been a split embryo. The cow cleaned the first placenta, but then when palpated at 30 days post partum, he said there was a calf in her and could feel it move, and farmer said no way. Had the calf a couple days later.
One farm I milked on here in Va had something similiar to yours, one calf full term and the second was definitely a couple months behind. The cow had been confirmed preg, then came back in a "heat" and the farmer just bred her, thinking she had slipped the embryo from palpation. It happens. But for whatever reason, she had cycled again, and settled that egg also. Both were heifers, so no concern about the first calf not being fertile from cross hormones in utero. The second was not fully formed, but a little more than yours.
I commend you for catching it and also for the "tame cows" that can be caught and loaded under less than perfect conditions. It is so nice to have animals that are not crazy. Hope that they continue to do good.

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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by farmerjan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:41 pm

I had a "beef" heifer, 1/2 angus x holstein x jersey, that had a set of twins 3 days apart. Identical down to the same 10 white hairs on the forehead. The first was born dead, she passed placenta and I took it and used it to smear all over a calf to graft on her. She was penned separate and I got the calf grafted on her. This was on a Friday. Then on Sunday night she went to kicking the calf and I had to take it out of the pen that night. On monday morning she was acting funny, then I saw her lay down and start to push, and she had another heifer about a half hour later. Live and fine, cleaned from that one. She also allowed the other calf back on her, and I wound up putting a 3rd calf on her since she had so much milk. I named her Lucky, because she sure was. Still have her. Vet said he had seen a few over the years.

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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by MurraysMutts » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:08 pm

I dont even have the words.... amazing.

Good on you for saving the mama and baby!
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Fire Sweep Ranch » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:52 pm

Well, the DNA is back and the calf is, in fact, the embryo we implanted (Cowboy Cut x Velvet). That would have made the calf 271 days gestation, and at 88 pounds I am glad he came when he did! Mystery solved!

Oh, and we have had 6 sets of twins this season, WAY too many!
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by MurraysMutts » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:41 pm

6 sets!
All live calves but this set?
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by Fire Sweep Ranch » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:09 pm

MurraysMutts wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:41 pm
6 sets!
All live calves but this set?
No. Lost a complete set (tangled up, could not get to them fast enough, both heifers), the "half calf" above, an embryo split we lost one (heifers, second calf had her head stuck behind the pelvis, but both front legs coming. Did not find cow until afternoon, first calf was already dry and had sucked, so cow had calved earlier in the day), the other three sets all same sex (two bull sets - one the result of an embryo splitting, one heifer set) and born alive.
This was a great set:
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Bankroll x GCF Caliente. Split embryos, second split set for us this year. Superbowl Sunday, cow was laborish, so I put her in the barn to watch her close (did not want to go searching in the field in the dark during the game). Checked her at half time, had one leg and a head. Fishing around, kept finding a hock and not the other front leg. She got up, which shifted the calf forward so I could push it in and find the other front leg. Pulled it pretty quick. I got out of the pen, and was looking at her mothering up while thinking about getting back to the game. Something in me said to check her for a twin (even though it was an embryo and most unlikely). Found a second set of legs (explains the hock I found while looking for a front leg). Pulled that one out too. they were a half pound different in weight (66 and 66.5 IIRC). Calling them Mahomes and Kelsey. :lol:
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Re: Here is one to scratch your head...

Post by MurraysMutts » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:44 pm

O those are pretty!
Sounds like pretty good luck to me.
Crossbred for high bread vinegar....

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