Thursday, February 26, 2009

Twins 'R' Us

Aurora calved yesterday morning – with our sixth set of twins in the past 12 months. And that's not including the three sets of twins that were lost mid-gestation.

Of course, Aurora didn't deliver twin heifer calves. I'd have titled this entry 'Yippee!' if that had been the case. (Only two sets of our twins have been both heifers.) No, she produced a good sized heifer calf and a eensy-weensy little bull calf.

So, now we're faced with the decision every farmer faces in this situation: do we test the heifer calf in hopes of keeping her, or do we just be thankful for a live calf and hope for the best at the sale barn?

We'd like to know if any of you reading this have had any luck blood testing potential freemartins. We've heard of farms that blood test every female born twin to a male. How many times do you actually get to keep a heifer? Did that heifer actually go on to be fertile?

We're seriously considering testing this heifer, even though we've never had a heifer checked before. This is the only heifer Aurora has ever calved and she's one of the 'special' cows in the barn. We realize the odds are stacked against this calf not being a freemartin, but maybe it's worth knowing for sure.

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