MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
[ Member listing ]

There is a Chimera in the Pasture!

This morning I found a set of twin calves in the pasture (growl). As I went in to check they got up and hurried over to mom. As they moved away from me I noticed that one was a bull calf and the other a heifer. That means there is a better than 90 percent chance that the heifer is a Freemarten which is the sterile co-twin of male female twinning in cattle. The male hormones from the male calf share the common circulation and inhibit normal development of the reproductive organs of the female. The female is also what is called an erythrocytic Chimera, meaning she has both XY and XX chromosomes. A simple blood test will confirm this. We Never keep twin calves as breeders so both calves will be tagged for production and if the mother cow produces a second set of twins she will be culled. Twin calves don't seem to be as hardy in my experience and put an excessive amount of stress on the mother cow. Cattle usually have single births and this is only the 3rd Freemarten I've had in the last 15 years. It isn't that common but does happen and folks new to raising cattle need to be aware of the phenomenon. A Freemarten will finish out much the same as a steer and the male twin should be castrated as well as some studies have shown that Co-twin bull calves have a reduced sperm count and should not be kept for breeding. Twins usually stay smaller than single calves and tend to finish at lighter weights so at least from this grass based producers standpoint, I don't want twins in my herd. Meg

New Calves

We had 2 calves born overnite both to first time heifers. I like to have the first timers in close just in case there are any problems. Both girls did fine and the calves were up and nursing really quickly. I can only recall having to help on one or two occasions but better safe than sorry. We breed for ease of calving and good mothering in addition to grass conversion and I am ruthless when it comes to culling inferior animals or those with genetic markers for trouble. It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there that think any beef cow can produce superior grass finished beef. "Corn cows" will never finish out properly on grass. They don't have the genetics. What you end up with in that case is beef with no finish that won't grade. "Grass Cattle" will finish well in either production system. I'm proud of the fact that my beef grades Choice or better with a yield of 1-2. That's how grass finished beef should finish. Add in dry aging and artisanal butchering techniques and you have a product that is what people should expect from properly raised sustainable grass fed beef. I will be posting new pictures on the website in a week or so and you'll be able to see the new calves. Meg


Thank you all so much! This mare really is one in a million. Her colt by Behave Yourself Sir (Sir ReminicX Jessie of Snowy River by Conalynx) starts training in the spring and at 2 already has his mama's try. He's not Smoke, but he is going to be a heck of a cow horse! Dr. Burns is going to harvest Smoke's eggs and has recipient mares standing by. Several stallion owners have agreed to collect their boys out of season so the next great son or daughter of this fabulous mare will be born after she is gone. No matter what, her superior genetics will continue to play an important role in the Working Cow Horse world.
RSS feed for MM Livestock Co blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader