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Freemartins

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Anonymous

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Are there any ways to tell if your heifer is a freemartin by her outward appreance? I have no background info about my heifer because she was donated to me from a local dairy. I've heard that a large tuft of hair on her vulva can mean she is a freemartin.She has a large white tuft and her belly is pretty big compared to others of her breed that i've seen. Is this a sure way sign to know or is there a test that will show for sure if so is it worth testing her. I was hoping to raise her as a breeder but if shes not going to reproduce then i'll sell her now. Any info will help thanks.



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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
Your vet can do a simple blood test to tell.

On the other hand, Free Martins make great pets, I have given a couple to friends and the reason they make great pets is because they don't come into heat every 18-22 days which means less headaches for everyone.

kat

> Go in and look with an ultrasound
> rectaly to see if she has any
> ovaries



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OP
A

Anonymous

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I have read where a quick check can be made by palpating her vagina to see if it is a blind pouch.

> Are there any ways to tell if your
> heifer is a freemartin by her
> outward appreance? I have no
> background info about my heifer
> because she was donated to me from
> a local dairy. I've heard that a
> large tuft of hair on her vulva
> can mean she is a freemartin.She
> has a large white tuft and her
> belly is pretty big compared to
> others of her breed that i've
> seen. Is this a sure way sign to
> know or is there a test that will
> show for sure if so is it worth
> testing her. I was hoping to raise
> her as a breeder but if shes not
> going to reproduce then i'll sell
> her now. Any info will help
> thanks.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
That's not always accurate. Freemartins can be almost completely "normal", and only reveal themselves by not carrying a pregnancy to term. The amount of deviation from normal *seems* to be related to when the placentas joined. The later in the pregnancy that the placentas join, the closer to complete the freemartins reproductive tract will be.

I have an Angus freemartin that's 18 months old. She definitely a freemartin, she doesn't have a cervix, but she does have ovaries, and her reproductive tract is open , even lacking the cervix. This girl cycles and ovulates regularly -- every 3 months. Her heat cycles seem to hit her harder than normal females -- her vulva will really swell up and she'll walk around stiff-legged with her tail stuck out behind her. You can tell that "Ribeye" is in heat from across the field. And the blood afterwards shows that she did, in fact, ovulate.

She's being butchered next week -- and I expect her to make some good steaks. She's finished real well and quite easily. She looks more like a fat steer than a fat heifer, which I assume has something to do with her out of balance hormones.

Ann B

> I have read where a quick check
> can be made by palpating her
> vagina to see if it is a blind
> pouch.



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