Keeping a twin heifer for a replacement

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Travlr

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It is the bull that carries the twinning gene.
The U S Meat Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska (I think I'm right or close on that) did a study on Twinning in Beef Cattle
several years ago. I would think the information would still be available and more reliable (albeit less entertaining) than contained
within the forum.
Not sure that is true... or at least always true. There are too many cows that produce twins and their daughters produce twins.
 

Lee VanRoss

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Not sure that is true... or at least always true. There are too many cows that produce twins and their daughters produce twins.
You have responded with an opinion. You received information that would lead you to scientific data as presented by
The US Meat Animal Research Center. I think you got the better of the exchange and my congratulations!
 

farmerjan

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Interesting about the bull carrying the twinning gene. If you "flush" sheep or goats or any other animal with rich forage ahead of breeding, they are more likely to have multiple births. I have had a couple sets of twins and they have been random as far as the bloodlines, bulls, etc... but they have nearly ALWAYS occurred after a very good pasture year... plenty of rain and good forage quality.
 

Travlr

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You have responded with an opinion. You received information that would lead you to scientific data as presented by
The US Meat Animal Research Center. I think you got the better of the exchange and my congratulations!
Well then, please produce the study. Otherwise an opinion may be as good as your memory.

I said, "Not sure that is true... or at least always true.", so I'm leaving room for your information being legitimate and if it is that would be interesting to see. I'd welcome the information. But I'm not going to search for it when it is attributed by "(I think I'm right or close on that)"...

So I'll see your memory and raise you an opinion, and until we see the study I'd call it a draw.

In the meantime I don't see either of us getting the better of anything.
 

redcowsrule33

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https://news.cals.wisc.edu/2000/08/18/rounding-up-the-genes-for-twinning-in-cattle/

From the article: "Our work has now confirmed the existence of at least one gene on cattle chromosome 19 that affects ovulation rate," says Brian Kirkpatrick, a University of Wisconsin-Madison animal geneticist who led the study. "We also have strong evidence for genes with similar effects on chromosomes 5 and 7."

Edit to add: Environment/nutrition and age also have an effect. Since the chomosomes being studied are autosomal both cows and bulls can carry the genes.
 
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Katpau

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Did you have a higher percentage of heifer calves in the years with high rain totals?
Interesting question. I may need to look back over my records. I have records on calf crops that go back about 25+ years and I think most ended up close to 50/50 bull to heifer. I would often start out heavy in one direction or the other, but it was usually fairly even in the end. My rainfall information goes back to 1948 and was provided by a drought insurance company for this location.

This year may have been our highest percentage of heifers ever, and in the last two years we experienced record drought. If I had to guess, I'd say LOW rain totals might mean more heifers the next year. Kind of like how trees produce more seeds in drought years or when they have been compromised by insects. In nature, extended drought results in more animals dying. More heifers could be natures way of having enough females survive to produce calves when conditions improve. We ran over 62% heifers this year. Nine of the last 10 calves born were heifers. We left the bulls in for 60 days, but 85% of the calves were born in the first 21 days and only one calved after 45 days. Opens were culled. Those last 10 calves would have been conceived a bit latter when the summer drought was really beginning to affect forage quantity and quality.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Simmental are (or used to be) the highest twinning breed. I have had LOTS of twins. Hate them but have them. Nutrition is the biggest factor on twinning.
I keep my twin heifers - or sell as breeders. Sell one - other is essentially free!!! I have one cow was a twin - never had a set of twins until she was 15 years of age! Same cow family, 3T was not a twin, but had 5 sets of twins - always just spit them out and raised both.
Back to the original question. Only a heifer born twin to a bull is "mostly" a non-breeder (like 8% can be breeders). They are called a freemartin. Twin heifers are perfectly fine.
Twinning can happen when two different sperm fertilize two different eggs - OR - an embryo splits. (fraternal and maternal twins).
 

MurraysMutts

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Simmental are (or used to be) the highest twinning breed. I have had LOTS of twins. Hate them but have them. Nutrition is the biggest factor on twinning.
I keep my twin heifers - or sell as breeders. Sell one - other is essentially free!!! I have one cow was a twin - never had a set of twins until she was 15 years of age! Same cow family, 3T was not a twin, but had 5 sets of twins - always just spit them out and raised both.
Back to the original question. Only a heifer born twin to a bull is "mostly" a non-breeder (like 8% can be breeders). They are called a freemartin. Twin heifers are perfectly fine.
Twinning can happen when two different sperm fertilize two different eggs - OR - an embryo splits. (fraternal and maternal twins).
A split embryo would be identical?
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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MM - correct. And a fun fact. Identical twins that have white markings - like face, feet, even spots - will NOT have identical matching white areas - but - they will have exactly the same amount of square inches of white. Dr. Pollack, retired from Cornell, told us that. He used to be in charge of all of ASA's research and gave lots of presentations.
 

MurraysMutts

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MM - correct. And a fun fact. Identical twins that have white markings - like face, feet, even spots - will NOT have identical matching white areas - but - they will have exactly the same amount of square inches of white. Dr. Pollack, retired from Cornell, told us that. He used to be in charge of all of ASA's research and gave lots of presentations.
Well that's a bit disappointing!

But very kool at the same time.
 

cattleman99

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Jeanne is correct that Simmentals twin a lot. I twin between 6 and 12 per cent a year. It’s a real pain most of the time but on a good year you have extra calves to graft when needed and the extra calf is straight bonus money.

My record cow had 7 sets in 8 years. She lost the last set, they were all mixed up and I didn’t get to her in time and her bag was starting to go so I shipped her but I weaned 11 calves in 8 years so she paid the bills. Never got a female off her that wasn’t a free Martin though. Had one steer that went in the freezer at 24 months. He had a messed up back leg when he was born. Other calves were all fine.

She raised some whopper free Martin heifer calves. It’s easy to spot the free Martins They wean off the heaviest.
 

TCRanch

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She raised some whopper free Martin heifer calves. It’s easy to spot the free Martins They wean off the heaviest.
Sold a freemartin twin to a friend a couple years ago and was shocked when I helped her wean. She was HUGE, even though the cow she was grafted on was an older one with a mediocre bag.
 

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