Our first split embryo

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Fire Sweep Ranch

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Seems the black cloud has reared it's ugly head again here....
Today was my first day back for a new semester at the college (Tuesday was canceled because of the snow), so not expecting to find anything (nothing due in heat, no cattle due to calve until the end of the month) and hoping to get out of the field and on to the road, OF COURSE I find our two year old, due with the only embryo calf that stuck in that mating, in labor!
I get the kids to help me bring her to the barn (they had no school, snow day), and I sleeve her. All I can feel is the head and an ear, and can not find the legs. Knowing I was out of my league, and the value of the embryo (W/C Loaded Up x Eriskay), I called my vet (emergency hours - 7AM).
Vet gets there an hour later, and worked on her for some time. He says the calf is really small for gestation (274 days), and not responding to his manipulation - so likely dead. He gets the calf in the correct position and pulls him out. A VERY small calf, and he looks dead. I watched the calf for a few seconds, and all of a sudden it blinked and lifted his head! Vet tells me to drag the calf to the hay and get it stimulated, while he looked for a second calf (remember, this is an EMBRYO). Yep, there is a twin. My daughter and I work over the first calf for what seems like 20 minutes, with me pumping on he chest and rubbing vigorously with dry hay, while my daughter kept shoving straw in the nostril. Once more, the calf jerked, and opened his mouth like he was trying to take a breath, but then nothing (as we continue with our aggressive pumping and nose stimuli). In the mean time, the vet pulls out the second calf, another bull, and declared he is dead (checked for heart beat). He moves over to the calf we are working on and tells us to stop, because he did not have a heart beat either. At that point, I am in tears! He "seemed" to be alive, but we could not save him. In the rush of it all (and me trying to get on the road), I drag the calves to the scale to get a weight (first one 25 pounds, the second one 37.4 pounds), and shove them in a feed sack to dispose of later.
On the way to work, I called my embryologist. The first calf had white on his face, a big splotchy spot, and one on his chin. The second calf, from what I remembered, had none. If they were truly identical, they should be close on the white (not one with and one without). We speculate, and talk for some time. There is NO WAY she was bull bred (no breeding age bulls around, and she was in the show heifer pasture when we put the embryo in her - ONLY show heifers). So it was either a split embryo or two embryos in one straw on accident.
Tonight I came home, checked the cows, and decided to look at the calves again. We take them out of the bag, and discover that the second calf DID have white, it was just a small amount and covered in birth junk. They even both have white on the chin, so it is in fact a split embryo. Bummer for the heifer, it was not her fault and now she has nothing to show for her effort. We have put in a bunch of embryos in the last 10 years, and never had one split, and sure hope it does not happen again!
Here they are on the scale...
v7bho3.jpg


Calf number 1 face:
wt99a8.jpg

Calf number one chin:
20ra2w4.jpg


Calf number 2 face:
vht9xu.jpg

Calf number 2 chin:
20shsmg.jpg


All this to say farming sucks sometimes. Glad it did not happen yesterday, since yesterday was my birthday... :bday:
 

farmerjan

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So sorry to see that. Did you try to graft another calf on her to save the lactation, develop her udder and all? Even raising a holstein is better than no calf. Sorry that you lost them.
 

jd720

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Sorry to hear your bad luck is continuing into the new year. Not sure why but it seems the mating we look forward to the most is usually the ones something crazy like that happens to. After watching the Sim Magic on ice sale online and seeing what some embryos bring these days and knowing something like this can still happen I`m reminded why we haven`t bought any embryo`s for several years I just hesitate to take those risks anymore. Even with the one pregnancy guarantee that doesn`t help in a situation like this. I hope the rest of your calving goes better.
 
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Fire Sweep Ranch

Fire Sweep Ranch

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farmerjan":hjojzsi4 said:
So sorry to see that. Did you try to graft another calf on her to save the lactation, develop her udder and all? Even raising a holstein is better than no calf. Sorry that you lost them.

I asked my vet that same exact question. His reply was "no". He fears bringing disease or something else to the farm from an unknown source. He said the gain was not worth the risk. He knows our operation best, so I decided not to pursue finding a calf to graft on to her.

Thank you all..... I just needed to voice my emotions, and hopefully someone can learn through this. Embryos do split, and they are never identical in markings, but should be close.
 
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Fire Sweep Ranch

Fire Sweep Ranch

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farmboy80":3ac5m9mb said:
Sorry to hear about your bad luck.


On a lighter note: Happy belated Birthday!!
Hope it was a good one!

Thank you! I find the older I get, the less significant a birthday becomes! I spent it with my family and church.... so it was a good day.
 
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Fire Sweep Ranch

Fire Sweep Ranch

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jd720":1outkm4o said:
Sorry to hear your bad luck is continuing into the new year. Not sure why but it seems the mating we look forward to the most is usually the ones something crazy like that happens to. After watching the Sim Magic on ice sale online and seeing what some embryos bring these days and knowing something like this can still happen I`m reminded why we haven`t bought any embryo`s for several years I just hesitate to take those risks anymore. Even with the one pregnancy guarantee that doesn`t help in a situation like this. I hope the rest of your calving goes better.


I agree, it can get expensive. I never pay that much for my embryos (Sim Magic On Ice), but there is a lot of expense with the vet and all the other charges. For the most part, we have made money on our purchases.
On a positive note, in December, I bought a second set of embryos out of the same cow (Eriskay) and STF Lockout. I called them a few days ago to arrange shipment of the embryos. When he called me today, I told him what had happened with the single pregnancy, and resulting twins. He released several more embryos to compensate for our loss (and was under NO obligation to do so), so I am now getting 8 embryos for the cost of 6. People in the Simmental business are good people. I did not ask for anything (his obligation had been met - I achieved a pregnancy), but he offered me more because he felt bad.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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:bday: Chris - the geneticist at Cornell several years ago explained that an identical twin will have the exact number of sq inch of white, but not necessarily in the same locations.
I had two embryos split last year - both from the same flush - all heifers.
This is one time I would disagree with FarmerJan. I would NEVER advise to buy a calf (of any breed) to put on a cow for exactly what your vet told you. A healthy calf coming onto your farm is a disaster waiting to happen. Their bugs may/probably are totally different to what the rest of your newborns are immune to from your herds immunities.
:bday:
 

slick4591

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:bday:

Not that this is what I would call a good present. I'm sorta feeling some embryo pain as I've not had good success with it. I'm 2 for 10 and unless there's a major injection of investment, I'm out.
 

jd720

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I agree people in the Simmental business at least the ones I`ve met are good people. By him doing that you will no doubt be more willing to do business with him again. I like hearing there are still people like that out there these days.
 
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Fire Sweep Ranch

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1z90zyj5 said:
Embryos can work well. We put 5 in last year with 4 pregnancies (5 calves). We put 5 in this fall with 4 pregnancies so far. I never like to "count my chickens" until they hatch!!!

I have very good luck, for the most part, also. We run about 67%, at least we did until we started using IVF. I will NEVER buy IVF. I bought some Wheelman and Icon embryos from the Circle M dispersal sale. Catalog stated they were conventional, but when they arrived they were actually IVF. We have put a few in with zero conception on them. Some cows do not do well with IVF, I am wondering if this is one of them (same cow- HPF Crocus).
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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All the embryos I have used in the past have been out of my cows, but flushed at HPF. They would lease a cow for the year & flush them every 60 days - conventional - 5 times. I did purchase 3 embryos last year, appears I got 2 out of 3 pregnant. I have not used any IVF, but a friend has been flushing his own cow IVF and has had great success - flushing and implanting. I don't know his ratio, but when we talked about it, I was impressed.
Like you said, soooo much will affect the outcome. Embyros from a dispersal sale, may not be a good "gauge".
 

dun

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With any luck you won;t have the results of thses 2.
A few years ago ABS had a pair of split egg clones angus bulls named Consistance and Convergence . By the time they were 3-4 years old their EPDs were at opposite ends of the scale as mature bulls their FS was around 1 full point different and from the pictures of them they didn;t even look like they were remotely related.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Dun - they may have been two embryos frozen in the same straw, accidentally.
My coming yearlings are identical. They were 2# difference at birth (our scale is 2# increments). They weighed exactly the same when we got weaning weights, and we weighed them yesterday to give them vaccinations - they both weighed 860#. One is going to a new home tomorrow to a 4-H'er. That's kinda like getting paid for one and KEEPING her also!!!
But --- I STILL HATE TWINS. They are trying to "grow" on me ---- but NO.
 

dun

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1ksn20gd said:
Dun - they may have been two embryos frozen in the same straw, accidentally.
My coming yearlings are identical. They were 2# difference at birth (our scale is 2# increments). They weighed exactly the same when we got weaning weights, and we weighed them yesterday to give them vaccinations - they both weighed 860#. One is going to a new home tomorrow to a 4-H'er. That's kinda like getting paid for one and KEEPING her also!!!
But --- I STILL HATE TWINS. They are trying to "grow" on me ---- but NO.
They were claimed to be split embryo twins. That was their big deal back then.
http://www.advantagecattle.com/ACSassoc ... anchco.htm
I'll have to look back through some of my old semen catalogs.
 
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