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Twinning In Cattle Essay

2091 words - 8 pages

Mac Winslow Winslow 1Dr. FarinANS 2203 December 1996Twinning in CattleDue to the continual fluctuation of the cattle market cattle producers have been searching for ways to improve their production and increase their profits any way possible. For years genetic engineers have been working hard on improving economic efficiency in cattle. It is their hope that through genetic research they can improve the yield and the income of cattle producers around the world. Research has shown that twinning is one way that farmers can increase their yield . Twinning has a significant influence on producers as well as people who are involved in all realms of agriculture. The reason for this large impact at this time is the fact that the occurrences are limited. However, many producers have a vision that twinning can be more than a once in a blue moon occurrence. These producers see twinning as a way to dramatically increase their yield per calving season. Producers will increase their income due to more weight per year per cow. It is necessary ;however, that the producer be well educated on how to handle twinning, in order for it to be successful for them.Many agencies see twinning as an economic move upward. The American Breeder Service has made efforts to produce semen as well as embryos with high predicted breeding values available to producers. They have been recorded based onWinslow 2twinning probabilities and ovulation rates. A large amount of work on twinning has also been done by the Meat and Animal Research Center. Since the early eighties, they have located cattle with a high frequency of twinning and been forming a breeding foundation based on this characteristic. "We believe the time has come to make some of these unique genetic resources available to the beef industry through artificial insemination and embryo transfer" (Gregory 23). An extensive amount of research has been done using embryo transfer in cattle. In one study recipients were implanted with either a single embryo, two embryo in one uterine horn, or one embryo in each uterine horn. It is also possible to split embryos using a micro manipulator and implant each half to produce identical twins. On the average about 16% of the cows implanted with two embryos produced twins. When two embryos were implanted, and one was placed in each horn, conception rates were comparable with the prior method, however the twinning rate was much higher when the embryos were in separate horns (73% vs. 45%). For the most part, when one embryo was split in an attempt to produce identical twins, only one of the offspring survived birth (Davis 302).Many producers see twinning as a possible advancement in economic prosperity for themselves. Scientists have increased the possibility of successful twinning through extensive genetic research. They now also able to inform the producer of twins through the use of proper palpation techniques as well as ultrasound. Blood can be analyzed in labs to determine fetal weight...

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