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cow having twins?

SRBeef

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I've never had a cow that looks as wide as one of mine I was watching today. and she is not supposed to calve until 4/19 earliest.

Could it be she is going to have twins? If a cow is carrying twins does she usually look visibly bigger than she would with normal single calf birth? I guess my question is, can you tell if a cow is likely to be having twins by looking at her?

Thank you.
 

angie1

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Had a heifer calf twin heifers last year. I had others to compare her to and never would've guessed it until the vet pulled second calf out behind the first. Both nice heifer calves, and heifer took care of both of them to weaning. They would not have come out though w/o vet intervention so watch this one if you suspect. Depending on how many calves your cow has had, her stomach muscles may not be what they once were and she does not hold calf up and in as tight as she used to.
 

SRBeef

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angie":6nllixj2 said:
Had a heifer calf twin heifers last year. I had others to compare her to and never would've guessed it until the vet pulled second calf out behind the first. Both nice heifer calves, and heifer took care of both of them to weaning. They would not have come out though w/o vet intervention so watch this one if you suspect. Depending on how many calves your cow has had, her stomach muscles may not be what they once were and she does not hold calf up and in as tight as she used to.

Thanks for the reply. I'm glad your twins worked out ok. By the way, what made you call the vet for this heifer that had twins? you said she didn't look unusual....

The cow I am referring to is in her second pregnancy. But she does seem low as you describe. I guess I'll keep a close eye on her.
 

angie1

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I called the vet cause the heifer was down and pushing like she meant business for too long with no progress. Twin in front was in bad position and had to be turned. After that they came out no problem. TR has a post up in the coffee shop about a cow that had 3 calves. The farmer penned her and did not realize she was going to have 2 let alone 3. Hard to know I guess SRB.

Here are my twins ~Poppy and Paisley
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=48970&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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"Sometimes" you can suspect by the size of their bellie - but not often. Mostly, a cow/heifer carrying twins will be in a lower body condition score than their contemporaries. But, if they are grained & kept in great condition, you might never know by appearance. And, many times twins come early, and many times they come tangled up & in wrong position.
Anybody ever hear - I HATE TWINS!
 

LoveMoo11

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From my experience, you never really know until they calve. Just make sure you check after the calf is born to make sure there isn't another one. Either way, good luck with the calving when the time comes.
 

SRBeef

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Here are a couple pictures I took this afternoon of #41. She is much wider than usual. She had a very good calf last year - about 75 lb bw but excellent 205 day weaning weight of about 600 lbs. #41 is on the left.

View attachment 1

She is still at least 5 weeks from calving. She is not usually this wide and I don't think she's "fat" as in BCS 8-9. Or am I wrong? I'm learning.



And yes - we had about 4" of sleet, ice then snow in WI today!

By the way. Thank you to the powers that be on this site for the server upgrade. I hope this lets us post more pictures as attachments rather than having to find someplace else on the web to put them. Thank you.
 

Katpau

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I have some older cows that are wider than this cow, even two months after they calve. some cows are just built that way. She could be carrying twins, but i couldn't tell from this picture. I have had 3 sets of twins in the last couple years, and only suspected one of them because of her width. One cow was so much thinner and narrower than the other cows that I thought maybe she was open until she began to bag. It is hard on them carrying twins and they will often loose condition. Your cow looks like a very well fed animal. I too hate twins. My cows calve out on pasture and I am seldom there. With two of the cows I lost one of the twins and with the third set ended up feeding one when the cow kept walking of and leaving the smaller twin who wasn't strong enough to keep up.
 

SRBeef

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Katpau":2s8ipr6p said:
I have some older cows that are wider than this cow, even two months after they calve. some cows are just built that way. She could be carrying twins, but i couldn't tell from this picture. I have had 3 sets of twins in the last couple years, and only suspected one of them because of her width. One cow was so much thinner and narrower than the other cows that I thought maybe she was open until she began to bag. It is hard on them carrying twins and they will often loose condition. Your cow looks like a very well fed animal. I too hate twins. My cows calve out on pasture and I am seldom there. With two of the cows I lost one of the twins and with the third set ended up feeding one when the cow kept walking of and leaving the smaller twin who wasn't strong enough to keep up.

From your comments and others I guess you can't tell by looking at them if it will be twins or single birth. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I was hoping to identify it ahead of time if twins are coming. This one #41 has been an excellent momma to her last calf.

I am in a similar situation as you - mine calve out in the pasture on their own. I am also often not here for a week at a time so they are pretty much on their own althought I have a good neighbor who keeps an eye on them.

It seems like twins would be an economic positive if the cow could calve and raise them successfully. I guess I'll just do what I can to get them and a calving pasture ready and then just hope for the best. This is a case where nature gets a chance to show what she can do.

With the weather the way it has been lately and more cold (near zero F predicted again later this week with snow) I am sure glad I pushed calving back a couple weeks this year to about April 15th. I would just hate to see calves born into this mud, slush, snow and cold. Hopefully they will have a least a bit of green grass in my south facing calving pasture by then. Thanks for your response.
 

Bez+

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We see these questions about big cows all the time - size generally never has anything to do with it.

Looking at your pics I do not see anything unusaul - in fact I have a great number of animals that get bigger than your girl and only put out a single - twins can be and often are a pain in the rear end - I hate them.

Anyone who has never had probs with cows with twins is either very lucky or has not calved enough animals - pray for a single.

Good luck

Bez+
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Bez+":6s9uvf5o said:
We see these questions about big cows all the time - size generally never has anything to do with it.

Looking at your pics I do not see anything unusaul - in fact I have a great number of animals that get bigger than your girl and only put out a single - twins can be and often are a pain in the rear end - I hate them.

Anyone who has never had probs with cows with twins is either very lucky or has not calved enough animals - pray for a single.

Good luck

Bez+
DITTO!!!
 

novaman

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":f0tkt07o said:
Bez+":f0tkt07o said:
We see these questions about big cows all the time - size generally never has anything to do with it.

Looking at your pics I do not see anything unusaul - in fact I have a great number of animals that get bigger than your girl and only put out a single - twins can be and often are a pain in the rear end - I hate them.

Anyone who has never had probs with cows with twins is either very lucky or has not calved enough animals - pray for a single.

Good luck

Bez+
DITTO!!!
I also agree. Just had a cow abort twins 45 days early. Now I've got the challenge of figuring out what to do with a cow that was just recently dried up with very little production.
 

OLF

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I prefer singles, but I don't think twins are the worst thing. I sell three one-week old bottle calves to a petting farm each year for $500 each. It's a great way to get rid of one of the twins.

Also, a cow shouldn't have a problem feeding twins for a month, and if any other cow loses a calf in that month I will foster one of the twins on to her.

If I have a cow that has good milk and I know she holds her condition well, I will let her raise them both. (If I don't have someone to foster to) I'll do much better taking two 400 lb weaners to market than one 600 lb weaner. It just depends if I think the cow can handle it.
 

Bez+

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OLF":3e6zmz0r said:
I prefer singles, but I don't think twins are the worst thing. I sell three one-week old bottle calves to a petting farm each year for $500 each. It's a great way to get rid of one of the twins.

Also, a cow shouldn't have a problem feeding twins for a month, and if any other cow loses a calf in that month I will foster one of the twins on to her.

If I have a cow that has good milk and I know she holds her condition well, I will let her raise them both. (If I don't have someone to foster to) I'll do much better taking two 400 lb weaners to market than one 600 lb weaner. It just depends if I think the cow can handle it.

Good for you - seems that a cow loves one twin and tries to kill the other one - far too often for my liking.

Hate twins - more work and often more money spent.

Glad you have a sale source

Bez+
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Oh, I have some great success stories with twins.
One cow spit out & raised set of heifers & bred back promptly - sold one for $2500 and kept other in herd.
Another cow spit out & raised set of heifers & bred back promptly - sold one for $6000 and kept other in herd.
Yep, made lots of money - but I would much rather each cow gave me ONE calf. There are lots more trouble cases than successful ones. During the fast & furious calving season, don't need to be having to assist any cows, tie up a pen for potential problem case & don't have the time. Way too many headaches go along with twins.
 

KNERSIE

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If I have a cow that has good milk and I know she holds her condition well, I will let her raise them both. (If I don't have someone to foster to) I'll do much better taking two 400 lb weaners to market than one 600 lb weaner. It just depends if I think the cow can handle it.

The problem being that unless the calves are on a creep feeder from a very young age the cow don't raise 2 400lb calves. One is likely to be 500lbs and the other closer to 300lbs.

For my market selling specific weight calves directly to a feedlot and getting a premium beacuse of that I usually end up with a few twin calves too light to make the required weight and the time of year when I wean the market for those lightweights is three hours drive away. Usually more hassle than its really worth.
 

DavisBeefmasters

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I hate to say it, but I will. There's an alternative situation here, she could have absorbed or aborted the calf -- and could be converting her feed to gaining weight (I call it "tanking up" -- we have had 1 or 2 do this through the years and they get masculine and large). If she's 5 weeks from calving, you will know soon. If after 8 weeks she doesn't calve - you might want to glove up and see if she's working on it.

Good luck, and here's to hoping for a single, easy birthing calf for you.
 

SRBeef

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Thanks for all the responses. I've learned somethings about twins. At first glance I would think they'd be a plus - like a 2 for 1 sale. I can now see how there could be a number of different issues. In the end I guess it is pounds of beef per year.

Bez I hope you are on the return list soon - wife probably would like the help with calving!

Jim
 

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