Twin heifer a Free Martin?

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Gators Rule

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I've read there is anywhere from a 7-10% chance a heifer twinned with a bull calf will be a free Martin. Soooo...does that % go up or down if the twins are not identical?

Last Monday, I had my first set of twins (male/female) born. It might not be so negative if not for the fact that the mom went down on Wednesday, and died sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Now my wife and I are bottle feeding the two calves, and my wife is naming them, and her maternal instincts are flying high! She is keeping them and their pen in the barn spotlessly clean and gives them rundowns. All great right!?!? Well, then I start discussing the free Martin aspect and what happens and she is having no part of that!

As far as color goes, bull is pitch black and the heifer is brown (might shed out to black). Does color have any bearing on them being identical twins, and does being identical have any bearing on her being a free martin? Thanks in advance!
 

Nesikep

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Identical twins cannot be freemartins.. because a heifer/heifer combo is just fine, and a bull/bull combo is fine too.

So we're back to the only possibility, non identical twins with a bull/heifer combo, and that means the heifer is most likely a freemartin.. don't think color has anything to do with it. There is a test that can be done with a blood sample, and you may also see some non-standard female plumbing in the severely affected cases
 

Son of Butch

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Gators Rule":2hherqkn said:
I've read there is anywhere from a 7-10% chance a heifer twinned with a bull calf will be a free Martin.
You've got it backwards 7-10% NOT a free martin when twin to a bull.

Soooo...does that % go up or down if the twins are not identical?
Yes... it goes down to 0% free martins in identical twins.
94% of heifers born twin to a bull are Free Martins.

Nesi being Canadian (unlike many Americans)... still realizes that males and females are not identical.
Free martin heifers often grow unusually long course hair from tip of vulva as they age.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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I think your numbers are off. It is 90% likely (or more) that the heifer is a free martin. Sorry, but she is doomed for the freezer. Get your wife used to the idea now... or it will only be harder later.
As Nesi said, they are not identical if they are opposite sex. Identical means the egg had one spermatozoa that fertilized it, and it split AFTER. Fraternal twins (yours) was the result of two eggs being fertilized, so they are like sibs born different years, same sire.
 

greybeard

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Opposite sex identical twins is possible, but it is very rare.

Occasionally an egg contains three sex chromosomes XXY. This is opposed to the usual XX for a girl or XY for a boy. If this XXY egg splits it can lose a Y in the process, leaving one embryo with a girls XX combination and her identical twin as an XY boy. It’s extremely unlikely that you would experience it, as only a handful of cases are known.
 
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Gators Rule

Gators Rule

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Thanks. I meant 7-10% chance not a free martin. However, I didn't know identical meant mostly same sex. Fire Sweep,I can guarantee she won't be going in our freezer. Not unless I plan to cook it, and eat her by myself! Too bad. Was a good, well bred Simmy mama to boot.
 

farmerjan

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Yes, it is 90% chance she is a free martin.....That said, have a dairy that I test for, that is milking 3 "free martins".... Which of course means that they are technically NOT free martins. This dairy has more "GOOD" heifers from a bull/heifer set of twins than any I have ever seen. Probably 30-50% of the "free martin" heifers are actually "good". So, Either do the test, or let her get up in size and the vet can palpate and tell you if she feels normal at 8-12 months.... Most I have gotten and raised on nurse cows have all been 'no good' but did have one that bred years ago. Good luck.
 

wbvs58

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As far as I am aware there is no blood test for a free martin but I may be wrong. Those proponents of the blood test, do you know what sort of test is done? Do you know what is tested for to prove or disprove a free martin?

Ken
 

dun

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wbvs58":ecz1efzn said:
As far as I am aware there is no blood test for a free martin but I may be wrong. Those proponents of the blood test, do you know what sort of test is done? Do you know what is tested for to prove or disprove a free martin?

Ken
!5 years ago there was a blood test that was being done by UC Davis. Calf had to a minimum of 30 days old and looked for the Y chromosome.
 

greybeard

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Nesikep

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greybeard":1j5j83ac said:
Son of Butch":1j5j83ac said:
Gators Rule":1j5j83ac said:
I didn't know identical meant mostly same sex.
Identical means ALWAYS the same not mostly... just bring your sister over to my house and I'll show you the difference.
Boys are not identical to girls... period
The medical/scientific community would disagree with you.
https://www.reference.com/science/can-b ... b6ec0408c1
In that case, the female isn't 'really' a female.. looks like one, but isn't one genetically.. She has a single X chromosome, rather than XX, which maker them infertile.
 

Son of Butch

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greybeard":37imsisa said:
Son of Butch":37imsisa said:
Gators Rule":37imsisa said:
I didn't know identical meant mostly same sex.
Identical means ALWAYS the same not mostly...
just bring your sister over to my house and I'll show you the difference.
Boys are not identical to girls... period
The medical/scientific community would disagree with you.
https://www.reference.com/science/can-b ... b6ec0408c1
Why muddy the waters?
Turner syndrome has been proven to occur in humans... not cattle.
In addition it is believed 99% of fetuses with Turner Syndrome spontaneously abort in the first trimester.
Making it very rare (1 in 9000) live births

KISS
Today's lesson: IF one has testicles or 3 ears or whatever and the other does not then they are...not identical.

Tomorrow's KISS lesson: We will cover... Near and Far.... bring paper and pencil if needed
 
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Gators Rule

Gators Rule

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2na6ljhx said:
So, what are you planning to do with the bull calf??

I will probably cut or band him, as he is about 10 to 15 lbs smaller than normal for us. Both are good looking calves though. He's got great bone structure too. He's out of our Sand Ranch Hand son and a CircleT Antoinettes Star daughter. My first set of twins so I'm not in a rush to pull out the knife.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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Don't be quick to cut. We had a bull/heifer set, heifer was a free martin (it was obvious; her vulva was almost non existent, and she had a large clitoris that stuck out at the bottom, so malformed). Confirmed it with the vet when we weaned the set (he palpated her, she did not have a complete vagina, nor a cervix or any other parts).
The bull, however, was a wonderful looking bull. We sold him for breeding, he passed his BSE with flying colors. He never had a set of twins from his daughters (that we know of, the buyer kept up with us on how his babies looked). If he is a nice bull, do not let the twin factor be the deciding ax for him. Sounds like he has a nice pedigree; I sure love the Antoinette line!
 

dun

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Fire Sweep Ranch":3sw1mp7g said:
Don't be quick to cut. We had a bull/heifer set, heifer was a free martin (it was obvious; her vulva was almost non existent, and she had a large clitoris that stuck out at the bottom, so malformed). Confirmed it with the vet when we weaned the set (he palpated her, she did not have a complete vagina, nor a cervix or any other parts).
The bull, however, was a wonderful looking bull. We sold him for breeding, he passed his BSE with flying colors. He never had a set of twins (that we know of, the buyer kept up with us on how his babies looked). If he is a nice bull, do not let the twin factor be the deciding ax for him. Sounds like he has a nice pedigree; I sure love the Antoinette line!
He wouldn;t be expected to throw twins but his daughters would
 

wbvs58

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Supa Dexta":2jcuoqkm said:

Thanks for that. My understanding was that a freemartin was normal genetically, it was just that the development was influenced by the presence of the male hormones.

Has anyone here successfully used the test to identify a heifer that has bred successfully from mixed sex twins?

Ken
 
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