Twin birthing episode & questions

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Well-known member
Jan 17, 2005
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Central VA
I have posted before on twin issues, I would like to see if anyone could answer my questions following the description of my latest twin adventure (I had only found twins dead in the past & thought if I had been there during birth, the outcome would be different):

• Mature cow off by herself in the morning (not sure of her due date as caught by my clean-up bull).
• Mid morning - tail occasionally held high, searching for that perfect place.
• Noon - had water bag hanging down.
• Around 1PM - I was able to detect a correctly positioned hoof thru the "veil/placenta" – seems like things are going ok, albeit a little slow.
• Around 2:30 - the calf is delivered & upon seeing that the calf is completely encased in the veil, I rush to the calf & tear open the "placenta" before the rear hoofs have cleared the ma. Much fluid flows out & at that time it is obvious that the calf is dead.
• Remove & weigh the calf – bull @ 76 lbs – average size for my angus.
• Return after disposing of calf & doing various chores around 4 PM.
• Notice she is acting like she is going to calf again & notice another water bag is hanging down!
• Go to get the facility ready (think I'll pull this one out) & return less than ½ hr later.
• Around 4:30 - calf half out, veil broken & head exposed, I pull as ma gets up & free the dead calf from the mother (much smaller calf this time).

What caused both twins to die? Should I have detected something earlier & taken corrective action? What would other folks have done in my situation? What do I do the next time? I would like to quote Jeanne "I HATE TWINS".
not to be harsh, but if it was me and I saw the second water bag... I wouldn't have left... might not have been anything you could do but I'd hate to have the thought of there might have something I could have done...
I'm guessing there wasn't any kind of intervention you could have offered that would have helped. Twins are an abnormality.. so if they aren't a live birth, it's just nature, not neglect.
I would like to quote Jeanne "I HATE TWINS".
You know, it's easy for me (us) to say we would have done things differently. In my case, my cattle are real close & ready to go in the barn, so, IF she had been one "on deck", I would have put her inside & had Ken check things sooner. They say mature cows should calf in 1/2 hour from first sign of water bag.
BUT, with twins, she may have still been in the "back 40" because she was early - very normal for them to be "too" early. I have missed several that way.
Also, twins have a habit of tangling up with each other during that time of getting into position. And they sometimes break each other's umbilical cord - killing each other in the process.
You just never know with twins. Like I said about my cow this week that spit out twin heifers within 1 hour - VERY unusual. Generally, I find them dead - or intervene because things are going too slow & Ken finds two tangled up calves - very common to be upside down and/or backwards. He has saved some - lost some.
You never know. I hate to admit anything that is negative about my breed, but Simmental are such "fertile mirtles", twinning is more common than other breeds. It is rare that we don't have at least 1 set. UGHH
So, these are some of the reasons why - I HATE TWINS! :shock:
We've had at least a set a year for quite a while now... not always turing out for the best... but can't really complain though because at least all of them didn't twin...

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