Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Short Communication

A rare case of heteropaternal twin calves after natural mating in Brazil

Fernanda Luiza Facioli; Gabriela da Fonseca Bezutti; Rodrigo Saraiva Bender; Mariana Groke Marques; Carlos Bondan; Eraldo Lourenso Zanella; Marcelo Bertolini; Ricardo Zanella

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Abstract: Twin birth is a complex condition observed in most livestock animals, when the female gives birth to two or more offspring, generally out of the same mating. In cattle, it is a rare condition (3 to 5%) and depends on the genetic background and environmental factors. Twin birth is a result of multiple ovulations, being more common in dairy rather than in beef cattle. Calves could be monozygous or dizygous, with the same or of different sexes. When twins are born with different sexes, a sexual condition called Freemartinism occurs in between 90 to 97% of pregnancies, causing infertility in the female calf. Knowing that the twin rate is rare in commercial beef cattle, here we present an even rarer case of twin birth from two different sires after natural mating, also called heteropaternal superfecundation.


twin birth, beef cattle, heteropaternal superfecundation


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