Last night I had my 3rd set of twins of the year. All have been like-sexed and two sets were bull bred and one AI bred ( four heifers and two bulls ). We lost the weaker twin from the first set but the rest are doing well.
Chambero - did you use hormones at all in your herd?
I know a commercial producer who just syncs his heifers and cows then turns the bull in....his twining number has grown to almost 8 sets per year, from NONE before he used hormones. So I don't think has anything to do with AI'ing, just the hormones involved.
Yikes! That's alot of twins!
Its been happening to us the last couple of years too - three sets of twins a year and the very weird thing is that two of the pairs had the EXACT same numbers as the year before (ie, we had a 21S and a 22S and the next year they were 21T and 22T- and we number by birth order)!! (Now that was just strange! No hormones were used in the making of this coincidence.)
Sounds like you're making out okay with them so far. Cross your fingers for no more twins!!!
I don't know if there is any connection between using hormone products and having twins. Historically, we have always had lots of twins on our farm, with the craziest year being 6 years ago when we had 18 sets. Usually we will have 3 or 4 sets, but occasionally we will get a year when Mother Nature goes wild. We have seemed to get more twins than any of our neighbours and it doesn't seem to be linked to anything in particular. Last spring we had 3 sets from heifers. That really knocks the stuffing out of a heifer!
Prior to 1989, we always seemed to have numerous sets of twins in our herd. I suspected it may have been linked to some of the genetics in our herd. At that time we were running 3 seperate breeds, as well as a commercial herd, and twins appeared in each of them. In 1989, we started with a totally new set of cows, and the twin thing continued. This makes me think that it is not primarily a genetic situation. If it is enviromental, I really have no idea what is causing it. Our cows are run on almost entirely hay throughout the winter. They do have access to all the additional minerals they want, and sometimes after they have calved they do eat mineral as if it were candy. Our cows are run pretty commercailly, and sometimes the early calvers are getting thin from milking so long on roughage rations.
I have not kept track but looking at the last few years, there are more " pasture bred" twins than "AI" sired twins.
I would rather have one good calf than a set of twins. I have had a few sets that have both made top end calves, but usually all they mean is lots of extra work for me as well as their dam.
we had a cow that had three sets of twins in a row she kept the first set... only kept one in the second set.... n then rejected both in the third... seemed like she got smart by the third set and realized she didnt want to do any work! needless to say she went to the sale cuz we were tired of dealing with her! btw she was always pasture bred.
It does seem like twins come in waves! Are they all out of the same line on the maternal or paternal sides!
We had a reg. Charolais cow that had twins every year of her productive life except for one year. She had eight sets, and raised both every year. She was the first cow we owned that was a Dam of Distinction. Kind of hard to miss when you wean 1300 # of calves every fall.
My little brother works at MARC and the twinning herd there is one of the longest lasting studies. I can't remember the exact percentage they are up to but it would be enough to keep me up all night during calving season. My brother said there isn't a whole lot of demand for the twinning animals but those who use those gentics are willing to pay outrageous prices to get them.
In dairy twinning is correlated with high milk production and increasing age
I remember that there was a Maine cow that had 5 heifer calves (fivetuplets ) and they all lived
In various sheep breeds there is a high level of twins, triplets and on up (ie Finns) and they are crossed to increase lambing percentage
I guess if you were only interested in pounds of beef and you could have twins easily and they could thrive itmight be a money maker
Wasn't one of the big clubbie bulls a twin?
Great an 80 pound BW - what about his 90 lb brother (cow)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the sire of the calves has nothing to do with the fact that they are twins!!! They're caused by the cow releasing two eggs (in the case of non-identical twins) or a single egg splitting after fertilization (in the case of identical twins). Therefore, how could you possibly sell semen on a twinning bull? Is he sold on the fact that his daughters would 'super-ovulate' themselves and produce two eggs each time they cycled? Throwing all the "twinning" semen in the world at a cow is not going to make her have twins!
A few years ago we had a delayed set of twins. The cow lost her first calf then a few months later when we were cycling her to put in an embryo she was the only one who didn't come into heat. We kicked her out into the pasture and a week later she had the second calf that was amazingly OK.