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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can freemartins be used for carrying other cows offspring? I have no idea why I am curious about it....just want to know :)
 

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No, their organ development is affected from about the fortieth day of gestation. Some free martins don't have full reproductive tract and may even have elements of the male reproductive tract. Even if they had a fully formed uterus their ovaries would not produce the necessary hormones to maintain pregnancy. Very interesting abnormality caused by a cross in blood antigens and hormones between sexes. Bull calf’s also suffer from decreased fertility, though not as severe as the heifer's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very interesting! I just read a big paper on how a large percentage of transplanted calves are turning out to be free martins. If you buy cattle from auction can you tell if a heifer is a freemartin? Holstein heifers are going for 30.00 each at our local auction and I do not want to accidentally bring a sterile calf home :)
 

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dcross said:
At $30, just buy'em all and have the vet check them!:)
Yeah, no kidding. 10% of freemartin twins will breed. Spend $300 and get a dairy cow and 9 head of beef cattle. Works for me!
 

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That works on the law of large numbers only. Buy a thousand and you might get a few fertile heifers, but buy ten and you are likely as not to get all freemartins, or you might get three fertiles & seven Freemartins.

Has anyone here EVER known of a fertile heifer in a bull/heifer twin pair?
Ox
 

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Oxankle said:
That works on the law of large numbers only. Buy a thousand and you might get a few fertile heifers, but buy ten and you are likely as not to get all freemartins, or you might get three fertiles & seven Freemartins.

Has anyone here EVER known of a fertile heifer in a bull/heifer twin pair?
Ox
Even if they are all freemartin at $30 each that's pretty cheap beef.
 

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Freemartins look more masculine, its best when they are compared side by side with a known heifer(non-freemartin). They may have an enlarged clitoris or tufts of hair around their vulva. Sometimes there are no signs though. But at $30 bucks a head I would go with the above advice. You're not going to get a whole batch of freemartins unless every dairy farmer saved all their freemartins and brought them to the auction on a single day, I'd say your odds are pretty good. Plus are these drop calves? If so you may need to get 10 because you may just end up having large losses with the normal riggors of drop calves
 

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Oxankle said:
That works on the law of large numbers only. Buy a thousand and you might get a few fertile heifers, but buy ten and you are likely as not to get all freemartins, or you might get three fertiles & seven Freemartins.

Has anyone here EVER known of a fertile heifer in a bull/heifer twin pair?
Ox
We had at least one when I was growing up.

Heck, I'd buy bull calves at $30!
 

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No kidding! I'd buy every calf I could get my hands on for $30 each! Where is this sale located? Around here, $125 each for day-old bull calves is the going rate while a heifer could cost you $500 or more. (if you can get a dairyman to let loose of one)
 

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They probe calves at our sales barn. Or at least they did last time I was down there.
Even so that's not exact. Our neighbor raises beefers and bought a freemartin along with some bull calves. He doesn't castrate till they're bigger and the freemartin ended up dropping a calf at 16 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I live in BC. Calves go thorugh really cheap. They appear healthy and vital. Maybe I will bring a few home....
 
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