Pulling a twin off a cow??

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Dumb Old Farmer
Jan 2, 2004
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A cow that is on third calving had twins. She has milked down pretty good with the past 2 calves raising about average weight calves. She gets pretty thin by weaning time. Well she has twins now and so far claiming and taking care of both but we really don't think she has the milk to raise both.

So if you were going to pull one and raise on a bottle, how would you pick one? She has a bull and heifer if that makes any difference. This is the second set of twins this year, other cow would have nothing to do with one of hers.
I agree with dun. It doesn't sound like the cow produces enough milk to raise both of them, and the bull calf will likely have more value at the usual weaning age, so sell the heifer soon. That's what I've done when I had twins.
I would leave them on her and give her a little better care, don't understand why she can't raise twins if she did it before.
Aaron":2o39cpp5 said:
I would leave them on her and give her a little better care, don't understand why she can't raise twins if she did it before.
She has not raised twins before. She gets thinner than I like just raising one calf.
wbvs58":2lq44mxq said:
She is older now and that may help her with maintaining condition, I would leave both on her.


While I agree with Ken, if I was going to pick one (which I wouldn't), I would pick the heifer and sell her. If I were going to pull one off to raise as a bottle baby, I would sell the whole group. I have no interest in a bottle baby just because a momma gets run down. If I was REALLY worried about the momma getting run down, I would just feed her more and let her take care of her own baby.

I personally don't think a cow makes MORE milk because she has twins. The twins will just eat less. So twins won't make the momma run down more, might just make the calves a little more run down. :2cents:
Even a decent milking cow will get sucked dry faster than if she only had one calf. Say it takes 3 or 4 weeks for a calf to start draining her milk each nursing, well if there's 2 it speeds that process up that much
sooner where she gets to 100% output that much faster. One calf can only drink so much, so the rest stays in the bag until next feeding, lowering her required energy input to produce it, if her bag is always being emptied, her body tries to fill it.

Add to that some cows only produce a smaller amount to start with, and some will drag themselves down producing all they can, a cow can and does def make more milk with twins, up to a point of her pre determined genetics, available food (amount and quality) and her fat stores.
A few years ago we had a young cow have twins and were concerned about her ability to maintain condition feeding two or raise two decent sized calves. After they were established on the cow, we were able to get them to start on a bottle as well and then progressed to a bucket. I cut a creep gate into a panel and we'd hang the buckets on the inside of one of our pens. They'd be standing there waiting when we got home from work in the evening. Moved the creep feeder in there when they got a couple of months old and when they started well on feed we weaned them off the bucket.

Cow stayed moderate, bred back, and the twins were middle of the pack weaning weight.

Mine were both bulls and I was selling freezer beef at the time, so more was better.
We try to let the cows raise their twins if they take them, and they will produce more milk up to what their genetics will support like @Supa Dexta said. If I am reading your post correctly, she gets thin with just raising one calf so I don't think she will do better with 2. I'd pull the heifer, sell it and let her raise the bull which will be worth more at weaning than a twin heifer would. If she gets thin maybe it is time to sell her also, and keep a heifer out of a cow that milks better and holds condition better at weaning.

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