Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

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AtomicMan
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Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby AtomicMan » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:21 pm

I apologize for the long-ish post I'm about to make, but I have a few questions about this special cow we have.
This cow has produced calves five years now, ever since we got her. We purchased her as a heifer, a little while before she was ready to breed. When breeding season came around, she got pregnant and when the time came for her to give birth, the calf unfortunately died because it came out backwards. Truly a sad sight to see...
The next year, the same cow got pregnant and when she was due, tragedy struck again. However, this time, she lost two. The twins were both bulls and they were massive! No wonder they died, we thought. (We didn't take pictures of these twins because they came out dead)
The next year, we anticipated the same cow to have her calf die. We assumed she had bad luck. However, when she was due, we were pretty surprised to see that she had twins! Again. Odd, we thought, but nothing more than that. This time the cow had a bull and heifer. Momma cow had a little bit of trouble nursing two very hungry babies, so we kept her in a corral and fed her very well so she had plenty of milk to feed her babies, and to keep them protected from any pesky coyotes or dogs, since we had gotten a few sheep killed by a bloodthirsty neighboring dog. They thankfully grew up with relatively no problem at all.
The following season we joked about her having twins again. Well lo and behold, she has twins again... A bull and a heifer. We had to repeat the process of feeding her very well in a corral, and we had to kept heavy watch over the bull because it was very weak and in bad shape. But nonetheless, they grew up fine.
This year, we expected her to have twins again. We kept a close watch over her, and on 2/19, we looked out the window to see that she had one calf by her side. My mom and I went outside to see if it was doing well, and we patrolled the land to see if maybe she had produced twins again and maybe left the other one by itself. We looked everywhere it could have been and we found nothing. However, my dad remained unconvinced and searched again a few hours later. It seemed that my mom and I hadn't checked one area of woods well enough because my dad found the other calf lying there, still alive. We carried it into the corral on the four wheeler and again started the process of feeding momma cow very well. They're doing very well so far! These twins are a bull and a heifer, btw.
So after all of this, I assumed that cows having twins was somewhat common. My mom had mentioned that in our little home town in Mexico, there was an incident where a huge deal was made when a cow had twins. But it being a very dry and harsh area, we assumed it was rare for a cow to have twins there because of malnutrition, and much more common in other places. But after doing some research it seems it's not so common, and much less common for it to happen four times in a row.
What could be the reason why this cow has twins time after time? And is there any way to determine the odds of this happening? Does this make this cow more "valuable"?
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waterman74
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby waterman74 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:23 pm

hmmm I don't know..I always thought of it as a little rare....I will tell you that a lot of heifer twins are sterile.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby M-5 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:29 pm

She's ahead on calves now , but sounds like a hard doer having to have help raising them. If she were mine I would be tempted to cull her while I was in the black with her.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby slick4591 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:56 pm

Has she been bred to the same bull or different ones?
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AtomicMan
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby AtomicMan » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:10 pm

slick4591 wrote:Has she been bred to the same bull or different ones?

Yeah it’s been the same angus bull. We sold him not too long ago though, had him for what seemed like the longest time.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby Mat Man » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:36 pm

I would rather have one good calve any day.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby MRRherefords » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:29 pm

Mat Man wrote:I would rather have one good calve any day.

Amen to that.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:59 pm

She is the reason, not a bull. Fraternal twins (opposite sex proves that in this case) are caused by TWO eggs being fertilized. So, she is releasing two eggs in her heat. How often is she calving? Every 12 months?
If she can raise them, I say go for it! You put very little money into the grain versus the check for the extra calf you are selling, so I would take it!
It is VERY unlikely that they twin that often. We have a cow that has had twins three years in a row.... and had a single this fall.
Last edited by Fire Sweep Ranch on Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby Muddy » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:21 pm

I had a cow that has fifth set of twins. Usually fraternal twins, judging by the colors of the calves. Twins can be a curse.....but if a cow can raise both calves then I would say you have an extra calf to sell.
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Re: Twins, again. For the fourth time in a row...

Postby greybeard » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:28 pm

how many of this cow's heifer calves have been freemartin?
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