14

I am already a week behind getting this out~ but last Friday Tori turned 14!  I’m starting to feel old~lol!  She had a nice little party with two of her best pals.
The Girls...

The Girls...

But the highlight of the night was this from Papa Ed…
Excitement...

Excitement...

What could it be?

What could it be?

A Black Angus Heifer Calf...

A Black Angus Heifer Calf...

 

She was born a twin to a bull calf and is termed a freemartin

What is a “Freemartin”?
     

 Freemartinism is recognized as one of the most severe forms of sexual abnormality among cattle.  This condition causes infertility in the female cattle born twin to a male.  When a heifer twin shares the uterus with a bull fetus, they also share the placental membranes connecting the fetuses with the dam. 
A joining of the placental membranes occurs at about the fortieth day of pregnancy, and thereafter, the fluids of the two fetuses are mixed.  This causes exchange of blood and antigens carrying characteristics that are unique to each heifers and bulls.  When these antigens mix, they affect each other in a way that causes each to develop with some characteristics of the other sex. 

Although the male twin in this case is only affected by reduced fertility, in over ninety percent of the cases, the female twin is completely infertile.  Because of a transfer of hormones or a transfer of cells, the heifer’s reproductive tract is severely underdeveloped and sometimes even contains some elements of a bull’s reproductive tract. A freemartin is genetically female, but has many characteristics of a male.  The ovaries of the freemartin do not develop correctly, and they remain very small.  Also, the ovaries of a freemartin do not produce the hormones necessary to induce the behavioral signs of heat. The external vulvar region can range from a very normal looking female to a female that appears to be male.  Freemartinism cannot be prevented; however, it can be diagnosed in a number of ways ranging from simple examination of the placental membranes to chromosomal evaluation.  The cattleman can predict the reproductive value of this heifer calf at birth and save the feed and development costs if he is aware of the high probability of freemartinism.  In some cases, there are no symptoms of freemartinism because the male twin may have been aborted at an earlier stage of gestation.  more here

 

So Tori is trying not to get too attached to her as she will be used for meat, the difficulties of farm life.  But never-the-less she is enjoying having a bottle calf again and the calf is too cute to watch as she jumps and leaps and plays with Butterscotch. 

Garrett with the calf...

Garrett with the calf...

 

calf

Tori had an exceptional birthday and with all the kids’ birthdays it just seems that time passes so quickly.  The days seem long but the years pass by too quickly!

 

PS~ Tori says “Thanks” to ‘K’ and ‘K’ for hanging out with her and for the awesome scrap booking kit!