Really puzzled....

Checking the calving cows tonight, didn't get a chance to this morning being so busy at the moment and we are coming to the tail end of calving anyway. I noticed a cow stood off to the side of the field away from the rest of the herd, and made a mental note to check her as one of the last in case she had calved. As I made my way around the other cows and got closer, I recognised her as a heifer who had calved for the first time in Jan/Feb and had had a bull calf, who was stood with her. Then the next thing was a small dun coloured calf appeared out of the rushes next to her and proceeded to follow her around the field. They both showed all of the signs of belonging to each other, but having obviously been born this morning, it was hard to tell if the heifer had freshly calved or not. There were no other cows in the field showing signs of being freshly calved or taking possession of the calf.

So what are the chances of a heifer that calved in Jan/Feb and last run with the bull in November last year, having another calf now? I know unusual things have happened to others in the past, like having a second calf a month after the first, or having 2 calves, one full term and the other obviously premature.

I'm not ruling out that I may have simply missed a cow that had calved as there are quite a few in one group, but they seemed quite a tight family unit.

Thoughts anyone?
 
If she was a heifer in Jan then there is very unlikely to have been a mistake when she calved down.
BCMS will pull you apart and demand dna tests and put a red mark against your record keeping.
Easiest option is to mark it down as a twin to the next one to be born. Welcome to 2021.
It would be a faff to do dna tests etc, but unless it becomes clear that it's not her calf, I would like to do it to satisfy my own curiosity!!
 
So mystery solved (I think!) turns out the calf appears to be one of a set of twins....

The next weird thing? Third set of twins on the trot!? Never had twins in the herd before, and suddenly, bang - 3 sets in a row!! The annoying thing is the last 2 sets have been a bull and a heifer:rolleyes: what's the chances of the heifers not being freemartins 😒😒

I'm also trying to remember what the heck I did differently with herd management last year 😅
 

AftonShepherd

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
East Ayrshire
So mystery solved (I think!) turns out the calf appears to be one of a set of twins....

The next weird thing? Third set of twins on the trot!? Never had twins in the herd before, and suddenly, bang - 3 sets in a row!! The annoying thing is the last 2 sets have been a bull and a heifer:rolleyes: what's the chances of the heifers not being freemartins 😒😒

I'm also trying to remember what the heck I did differently with herd management last year 😅
I've always been told that they're always freemartins but never risked keeping any.
 

Cowmansam

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Shropshire
Be equivalence of flushing sheep stuck them into good feed before service and it’s one in ten chance for them been fertile supposedly but I think it’s actually slightly more from my experience
 
Be equivalence of flushing sheep stuck them into good feed before service and it’s one in ten chance for them been fertile supposedly but I think it’s actually slightly more from my experience
Interesting.
I have just done a bit of research about what makes them freemartins/unable to breed, which I found quite interesting. I would assume that by the time they are born its too late to do anything about it treatment wise?
 

Cowmansam

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Shropshire
Yes there’s nothing you can do treatment wise usually the way to tell is to insert something in to them and most don’t have a proper vagina just goes in a small bit then some that do have a full depth one might not have the ovaries anyway if you scan them we get the odd one where the been born a single then but must have been twins and the cow lost the one calf and there still a Martin
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

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