Twin Calves

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Animal Track Farm

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I had a first calf heifer deliver twins (boy & girl) on Sunday the 17th. They seem to be doing fine nursing, running around etc. Some people tell me I should bottle feed one of them. I have been supplementing the mother with feed and she is on a good pasture. Any thoughts on this and also will the girl be sterile? This is a first for me as well as my neighbor I run cows with. Thanks!! for any suggestions.
 

phillse

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If the cow has accepted both calves and they are nursing, I would not bottle feed. You will not hurt by continuing on the path of giving mom a little supplemental feeding. In nearly all cases hefiers born twin to bulls are sterile and known as a free martin.
 

hillsdown

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It depends on many things especially the breed of cow. Being a heifer it is more than likely she will not have enough milk to allow the calves to grow to full potential without pulling her down as well and perhaps have rebreeding issues ..

However a few heifers are very capable of raising twins. Also beef breeds tend to utilize extra feed to fat and not to milk. If you are going to pull one or supplement one with a bottle you had better do it right away or it will be more than likely too late to get them on milk replacer.

Congrats on two healthy babies though and good luck..
 
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Animal Track Farm

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I appreciate the feedback. They both seem to be doing well. I think I will leave them both with mom and just keep feeding her and also get them started on some feed too.
 

Missy

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Congrats on 2 healthy babies.
A little trick to see if she is a freemartin,wait until she is about 1-2 weeks old and take a pencil,insert it GENTLY and SLOWLY into her vulva(blunt end first of course) and if it goes almost all they way in she is ok,if it stops after an inch or so,she will be sterile
 

dun

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Missy":3iasctjw said:
Congrats on 2 healthy babies.
A little trick to see if she is a freemartin,wait until she is about 1-2 weeks old and take a pencil,insert it GENTLY and SLOWLY into her vulva(blunt end first of course) and if it goes almost all they way in she is ok,if it stops after an inch or so,she will be sterile
It doesn;t necesarrilly mena she's ok, it just means she has a better chance of being OK. The problem with freemartins is that the the defect can rainge from having a penis to being comletely normal except they can;t maintain a pregnancy. If the physical deformity is such that it can't be detected there are only 2 ways to find out if she is in fact a freemartin. One is to keep her and see if she will breed and maintain a pregnancy, the other is a simple blood test.
 

CKC1586

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dun":14hrw7qq said:
Missy":14hrw7qq said:
Congrats on 2 healthy babies.
A little trick to see if she is a freemartin,wait until she is about 1-2 weeks old and take a pencil,insert it GENTLY and SLOWLY into her vulva(blunt end first of course) and if it goes almost all they way in she is ok,if it stops after an inch or so,she will be sterile
It doesn;t necesarrilly mena she's ok, it just means she has a better chance of being OK. The problem with freemartins is that the the defect can rainge from having a penis to being comletely normal except they can;t maintain a pregnancy. If the physical deformity is such that it can't be detected there are only 2 ways to find out if she is in fact a freemartin. One is to keep her and see if she will breed and maintain a pregnancy, the other is a simple blood test.
dun is absolutely correct. My heifer to a bull twin last year had normal size teats, normal appearing vulva and the vet probed (they have a special tool) her at age 3 months but she was "just off the line" so the only conclusive test was done, blood test and she was positive as a freemartin. Worth the $35. test to know what to plan for her. They say only one in ten are fertile. I have yet to talk to anyone that had that "one"!!
 

ANAZAZI

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CKC1586":2hlu7kwa said:
dun":2hlu7kwa said:
Missy":2hlu7kwa said:
Congrats on 2 healthy babies.
A little trick to see if she is a freemartin,wait until she is about 1-2 weeks old and take a pencil,insert it GENTLY and SLOWLY into her vulva(blunt end first of course) and if it goes almost all they way in she is ok,if it stops after an inch or so,she will be sterile
It doesn;t necesarrilly mena she's ok, it just means she has a better chance of being OK. The problem with freemartins is that the the defect can rainge from having a penis to being comletely normal except they can;t maintain a pregnancy. If the physical deformity is such that it can't be detected there are only 2 ways to find out if she is in fact a freemartin. One is to keep her and see if she will breed and maintain a pregnancy, the other is a simple blood test.
dun is absolutely correct. My heifer to a bull twin last year had normal size teats, normal appearing vulva and the vet probed (they have a special tool) her at age 3 months but she was "just off the line" so the only conclusive test was done, blood test and she was positive as a freemartin. Worth the $35. test to know what to plan for her. They say only one in ten are fertile. I have yet to talk to anyone that had that "one"!!

Whem we were in dairy, we had one that calved four times!
 

CKC1586

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Anazazi! Finally I found that ONE in ten!!! I was thinking it was a myth. I sure was hoping that my heifer would have been that ONE but not so lucky.
Good to see you here, how are your calves doing?
 

ANAZAZI

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Thanks. The calves grows like bad weeds and behave acordingly. The pied crosses express good muscle being only two months and a few weeks.
About twins, we had lots and lots of them when we were in dairy. One time in fifteen or so. One third were bull and heifer and ten % or so of the suspected freemartins are supposed to be fertile. This means that fertile "freemartins" are an occation for every 450 calvings. In all of my time I have seen about 700 calvings so it is soon time for the next occation! :banana:
 

double v

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I had twins this fall, so i let the momma raise them one bull/one heifer they were weaned in early may the bull came in at 512lbs and the heifer 347lbs. It might have been better to have pulled the heifer. Live and learn.
 

novaman

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Animal Track Farm":21kfvae3 said:
I appreciate the feedback. They both seem to be doing well. I think I will leave them both with mom and just keep feeding her and also get them started on some feed too.
I would strongly consider removing one of the calves. You are shorting both of their potential to grow. Further, the cow will likely lose more condition than she should and you'll have issues with breed back, etc. I always believed that if there is a way to keep the cow from losing excess condition while not costing extra money, I take it. Once the condition is gone it is hard to put back on in a timely manner. Just my thoughts.
 

CKC1586

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Heifer last year had twins raised them both, did a great job. She just had a bull calf on the 22nd. Here are her twins:
DSCF0054.JPG
 

CKC1586

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BARNSCOOP":2fuvvllu said:
That's a great picture!!! I 'll say she did an outstanding job, where are they're butt cracks? HA HA!
:lol: Well, the theme song around here is We Like Big Butts We Cannot Lie!!! :lol:
Yes, she is a great cow she has a beautiful udder. I am real proud of her. The bull in the background of the picture is the sire of this years calf...
 

NeighborHood Farm

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One of my cows had a calf last evening....and then another this morning. I was planning to cull her after she weaned her calf as she has two balloon teats. Now twins. Do I need to pull both calves and bottle feed them or would there still be enough milk? Can a calf even nurse from a balloon teat? They haven't so far.
 

redcowsrule33

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As long as both calves are nursing enough to keep them happy right now, they usually nurse the big teats by the time they are a week old unless the calves are tiny. In the long run it depends on if the cow is a good milker or not. If you have the time keep the calves with the cow and supplement twice a day with milk replacer. If they take both bottles all the time pull one, they aren't getting enough. If you don't have that kind of time watch them closely. If you really think the cow is a poorer milker pull one off and be done with it.
 

angus9259

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Seems like twins would EVENTUALLY catch up even if left on their momma - they would still reach their genetic potential. Especially if you could get them to a 8 weeks or so and start creeping them with some calf pellets or something.
 
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