First Set of Twins

Help Support CattleToday:


Well-known member
Aug 1, 2016
Reaction score
Yesterday we had our first set of twin calves, both are heifers, 78lbs & 88lbs respectfully, both are good and healthy and have been claimed by the mother. Watched again today for 15 minutes both calves ate, and both were energetic playing with nearby calves while mother kept an eye on both. She also would lick both when they came near. Now I am at the cross road hearing from both sides on what to do with the twins. 1 side says pull the smaller one now or soon so one doesn't fall behind and or effect 1 or both of their growths. Side number 2 says if she has claimed both, both calves are eating and the cows seem content to leave them on the cow together. Also have had offers to sell as a graft calf. What is that you all do in these situations?
I'm not a fan of keeping twins for replacements, so that's out of the question in my books anyhow.. If the cow is a good milker, I'd give her good groceries and let her have them... If luck isn't with you, you might have a cow lose a calf and then you have somewhere to go with the other twin... Also, if that would happen, I'd still let momma keep both, just get the other one to adopt it anyhow.

Last year I had a cow that didn't milk worth a darn, but she had a well built heifer, she was just hungry and was a determined milk thief.. Then I had a first time heifer that had a C section and lost her calf, and with a little convincing she adopted the hungry one... It didn't take long for the calf to figure out there was milk to be had, and she would put up with kicks, etc if it meant food... Win win for me.. the cow was able to do something for me while she healed up (and it was good for her spirits), and the calf looked better for it
I've only had one set of twins, both heifers. The mama (Ironically named Satan) claimed both for 3 days then left the smaller one to die. We searched for the calf for 2 days before we found her, amazingly still alive, and brought her to the barn, caught mama & the other twin and tried to reunite them. She tried to kill the one she ditched, tossing it against the barn wall with her head and we ended up with a bottle calf who is now due with her 3rd calf.

Personally, I'd just keep a close eye on them for now & be prepared for Plan B.
Have had many sets of twins but don't recall ever having a pair of heifers, ours are usually bulls or a heifer and a bull. If she is feeding them I'd get them up in a smaller pasture or lot and feed her extra. Usually I'll wean one earlier than the other.
Most of mine have been both heifers, one set both bulls. I probably took a bit of a hit on weight/price on the steers at weaning/sale but they grew just fine where they went to. I had to priority feed their mother (all grass) and she did fine.

I have a pair of identical heifers which weaned a bit below average but were up with the others at mating at 15 months and are still happily productive, now on their fourth calves. They're great cows.

I don't pull one because it's much easier to feed the three well than muck around with a spare calf on milk.
Okay thank you everyone! Will plan on leaving the calves together with the mom, make sure she gets grained and if one does fall behind I will address the problem then!
I have a cow that has had and raised three sets of twins! Always the same sex. We just gave her extra supplement (DDG's are cheap and work well here). She always weaned them off in the upper 500 to 600 pound each! And AI bred right back.
Heifer set

Another set the year before

Her red bull set

And right after they were born

Sad thing is, after her third set, we decided to put an embryo in her to give her a year off, so to speak. That embryo calf was born premature this late August, and dead. So she did not get to raise a calf this year. I sent her to KY, and she was AI bred by MargonMe and stuck her first attempt. She is due September, and I told Ron if she had twins again I was going to be ticked at him! lol
BTW, the heifer set pictured above have both calved this year, both had singles. I see no reason to not keep them. They breeder I bought the cow from said no cows from that family have ever twinned, so it is not a genetic factor.
Thanks Fire Sweep for the amazing story & pics,WOW! Really glad to hear you kept heifer twins & it worked out well.
MRRherefords":26ur6zj6 said:
Fire Sweep Ranch: it sounds like that cow earned her keep.

X 2 !!!!
I don't mind twins at all. Last year had a cow have twins and another had a single the same day. Wound up with both feeding the three so we just let them go to it. They are both bred back so no loss of time there either. Have had a couple have twins over the years that have rejected one, usually have grafted it on to a cow that lost a calf. Have had several raise both and although they are a bit smaller at weaning, the overall pounds is higher so made money on those cows. Since we are commercial, we always sell both if they are mixed, and if they are heifers out of a good cow have kept them. Have one now that will go with the bull in june/july for breeding, her heifer twin sister was born dead but she was fine. Usually have one or two sets a year. Depends on the cow and the feed, but don't normally pull one unless it is an old cow and I know she can't raise 2. They do usually get put somewhere that they can get extra feed or real good grass to just help out a bit.
That red bull set went to a red angus breeder, who liked the idea of having twins running on a group of cows. We called them Jacob and Esau, from birth, and the guy that bought them ended up being a pastor! Could not have planned that any better!!!
Here is a picture of them at 7 months, just weaned:



I think they turned out OK! They were ALWAYS together, so I was happy to see them go to a home where they would be breeding together too.
Nice boys! Brothers do seem to have a bit of an extra bond.. When I sold Hector to my friend, he was also finishing his brother Joules for butcher.. Hector was halter broke, and so Trent led him off the trailer, past the piggies (never seen them, so curious about those).. past the hen pen, the sheep, etc.. and then his brother bellered from out in the field.
Well.. that was it.. Hector was going to see his brother.. he was about 700 lbs at the time, and Trent is no small guy.. there was NO WAY he was stopping him.. they were best buddies.
Here's the pair of them

Had one set of twin bulls last year, mama did her best to raise both but when it got a little dry and the grass slowed down they pulled her down hard. Had to pull her away from them a little early and put her on some good hay and a little grain to get her back in condition. Both calves ended up being dinks in my book. They finally started growing after being on grain for awhile but it seemed to take forever and they were pretty far behind the rest of the group when they got shipped.

Just had another set of twins a couple weeks ago out of a different cow. Heifer and a bull, mama partially cleaned off the bull but then walked away with the heifer and never looked back. Bull calf is now in the barn on a bottle. As much of a pain as it is I think it's probably better off that way. Had a cow lose a calf a couple days later and thought I could graft the bottle calf on her but I couldn't get her in so there went that idea.

Latest posts