Twins and fertility

I've a cow had twins . A bull and a heifer. The heifer is red and white. The bull b and w. Is the heifer fertile.
What are the odds of 2 heifers as twins. I have it at
1 in 4 as you can have HH HB BH BB.
Or is it 1 in 3 HH BH BB
 

thewalrus

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Northern Ireland
Less than 1 in 4
As it’s not strictly 50:50 heifers to bulls

I’ve had 4 sets in the last 4 weeks a set of bull calves 3 sets of mixed twins
 
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Most heifer twins are freemartins. You can often tell that they don`t look right behind. Others you have do wait for them to mature.
Not sure of the statistics. We have had 4 or 5 heifer twins bred in 40 years. Maybe under 10%
 

Repeat

Member
Location
Cumbria
as I understand it the hormones from the male embryo cause the heifer to be infertile in nearly every case, if they arn't it probably because you cocked up and its not twins !
we always keep our twin heifer from these calvings , one calved once . I might have cocked up. Generally they go fat at 2 years looking like bullocks.
 

NoParticularPattern

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
You can blood test for freemartinism I believe? Probably not cheap but I’ve no idea since we don’t bother. We just rear them on the same as the rest then cull fat once it’s obvious. Our record keeping of which were twin to a bull is dreadful as a result but I don’t think our freemartin rate is anywhere near the 90% vets would have you believe.
Chance wise I guess you’re looking at HH, HB, BB so there’s a basic 1 in 3 chance of it being twinned to a bull if it is a twin, but it is in reality far more complicated than that. I believe there’s a chance that separate eggs fertilised by sperm from different bulls could potentially not be non breeders. No idea how it works in practice though and what the stats are.
 

Jdunn55

Member
so it's a false hope the fact they are different colours that the heifer is fertile
Yes, sorry!

1 in 4 chance to have twin heifers, 50% chance to have mixed and 25% twin bulls.

Cow eggs dont split. That would result in identical twins, as of now theres only 3 species of animals known to be capable of having identical twins: humans, armadillo's and dogs (although there has only ever been 1 recorded case of identical dogs).

All twins from cows are due to 2 eggs being released by the cow and being fertilised by 2 sperm. Full siblings but not identical. Which is why one is red and one is black.

What makes a free Martin is that when the calves are attached to the cow through the umbilical cord there is a chance that the Male hormones can "backtrack" and end up getting to the female through her umbilical cord.

Statistically, less than 10% of heifer calves from mixed twins are capable of breeding. Wether you have money to waste is up to you! Worst come worst you have a heifer to put in the freezer!

Hope that helps
 

Conrod96

Member
Livestock Farmer
We would usually keep her to breeding age and then just get the vet to check her then if she’s no use just gets to run with the rest of them all winter and fed with other fattening cows during the summer then
 

Homesy

Member
Location
North West Devon
the bovine placenta is non hormone specific i.e. male hormones can cross thus making the female infertile. The calf colour will be in the DNA and determined at fertilisation. Have kept several in the past but yet to have one breed. I think you can get them tested but unless it is some fantastic breeding, on average it will not be worthwhile. i.e. you could pay to get fifty tested and only end up with a couple of breeding calves which have cost you more in vet bills than they are worth.
 

Dead Rabbits

Member
Location
'Merica
I don’t think I can remember a successful breeding on a mixed set of twins. My uncle kept them if they were of “good genetics” in hopes they would breed.

Block calving in large groups and checking a couple times per day we inevitably And unintentionally keep some free martins. We just eat them After preg check.

Had one of them heifers grow up to breeding age and decide she was an aggressive bull. Pawed the ground, bellered and hunched up just like a bull. Started to thicken up around the head and neck after a bit. Got her gone bef
 

Dave79

Member
Location
N Antrim
I think it’s a 1 in 8 chance of being good to breed ie 12.5%. We run them on too, and I have had 2 normal in 20 years. But you always live in hope!
 

Spudley

Member
Location
Pembrokeshire
Wetherbys do the blood test as well as Holstein UK and I believe the Simmental society. IIRC the blood test is about £30, I probably test one every 2-3 years (lots more fail the pen test) but never had a fertile one yet.
 
Yes, sorry!

1 in 4 chance to have twin heifers, 50% chance to have mixed and 25% twin bulls.

Cow eggs dont split. That would result in identical twins, as of now theres only 3 species of animals known to be capable of having identical twins: humans, armadillo's and dogs (although there has only ever been 1 recorded case of identical dogs).

All twins from cows are due to 2 eggs being released by the cow and being fertilised by 2 sperm. Full siblings but not identical. Which is why one is red and one is black.

What makes a free Martin is that when the calves are attached to the cow through the umbilical cord there is a chance that the Male hormones can "backtrack" and end up getting to the female through her umbilical cord.

Statistically, less than 10% of heifer calves from mixed twins are capable of breeding. Wether you have money to waste is up to you! Worst come worst you have a heifer to put in the freezer!

Hope that helps
Is that definitely true about cows not being capable of having identical twins?

I can't remember if it was in this country but I do remember seeing a wanted advert for identical twin calves from a research station who wanted them for trails.
 
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