Free Martin

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by arnoldw, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    I understand freemartins are sterile. Will a freemartin milk cow take embryo transfer then carry to calf and be able to milk. Thanks Arnold
     
  2. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    No!

    A freemartin is a female twin calf to a bull calf. Her reproductive organs were inhibited from developing fully by the male hormones. She will most likely not have a functional womb (if she has one at all), and certainly not the hormones to use one.

    Mind you, not all female calves born twins to males are freemartins, but it happens often enough to not count on the opposite.
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Free martin females happen about 90% of the time. Too high to take the risk unless you have her completely checked out by a knowledgeable vet.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  4. jennifer_b

    jennifer_b Member

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    Im pretty sure that we have a free martin but not positive. She looks just like a bull. (big square head and built very large) Were not sure if she is bred yet. She got out on our neigbors farm and was with a bull for a couple of months. If she is bred she should be about 6 months pregnant.

    Can you tell at 6 months if she is pregnant? Should she be bagging up or would that be later on?

    Thanks,
    Jennifer
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If you can take her in to the vet they can preg. check her. Locally it runs $6. You cannot tell for certain when a cow will calve. I've had some I didn't think were anywhere close have a calf with them one morning. Others seem like the bag up weeks in advance. Consider the vet. If she is not bred, which is extremely likely, name her Hambergetta or something.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  6. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. CAN this happen with twins of the same sex. Reason I ask I have twin ayshires that booth look bullish.
    Thanks Arnold
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    No, two twin heifers should not be free martins. I don't think 'looking bullish' is a definition of a free martin. I have only seen one and she looked quite feminine.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do any of you know if this applies to humans. I know of quite a few boy girl twins where the girl never had any children. I also know a lady who had a twin brother, and she had 4 sets of twins and 3 singles.. However one set of her twin offspring was a boy-girl combination, and the girl never had children.
    What can anyone tell me about this?
     
  9. wyomama

    wyomama Member

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    No, it doesn't apply to humans. Either the female twins you know didn't want kids, or something else was going on.
     
  10. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Like wyomama said. I'm speaking from memory here, and my memory has been known to be just a tad faulty, but I THINK the problem with cattle (and cattle alone - not sheep or goats or people or cats or dogs or pigs or horses or rabbits or - well, only cattle) is that the placentas fuse, and that's where the mixing of hormones takes place. Other animals (e.g. people) the placentas will usually remain separate; or with animals that do litters (rabbits, cats, pigs) they have evolved so they don't have a problem with it).
     
  11. Gayle in LA

    Gayle in LA Well-Known Member

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    <<-------vet here again..............I think Don Armstrong is right. I learned about this freemartin thing 25 years ago, but I do believe the problem lies in the shared placenta. I would make the freemartin into hamburger before something happens, like any illness where you might be treating with antibiotics. She is good clean meat now.
     
  12. Tana Mc

    Tana Mc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don and Gayle are right. It is called "testosterone wash" . It occurs in all mammals when the sex of the fetus is determined during early growth. Unfortunately, in cattle, it washes both fetus and causes a freemartin. Probably more tha 90% of the time.

    If a freemartin heifer has a reproductive tract, it is usually what we call "infantile". It stays very small and never grows. I don't think that I have ever known a freemartin heifer to actually ever come into heat..... Seems to occur more often in dairy cattle but I have seen it in Angus cattle. I have eaten several freemartin hamburgers!


    Tana Mc
     
  13. kirby

    kirby Guest

    Are uou celling some thing
     
  14. Necie

    Necie Member

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    Free Martins will have incomplete female organs and may have partially formed male organs. A book that I have says that in a newborn free martin an ordinary test tube (1/2 inch by 6 inch) will usually only pass 2-3 inches into the vagina. In a normal calf it can be inserted the full length of the test tube.
     
  15. iowamom

    iowamom New Member

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    k, this is the first i've heard of this freemartin thing. i just bought an angus heifer that was a twin but i don't know what sex the other was. how can i tell if my girl is a freemartin?
     
  16. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Ask the person who gave you the calf.

    I just had a set of twins...a girl and boy, so I know what's up with that heifer. Too bad...I kept last year's calf from this cow as a replacement.

    Jena
     
  17. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    jena try selling them for a team/yoke of oxen. that might be the ticket here.
     
  18. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is one test I've heard of. Take a glass probe or an AI stylyus and insert it into the heifers vagina. if you can only get it in 6 inches, she is free martain, if you can go more she is not