Special Management for Twin Calves in Beef Herds: Insights from Kansas State University Experts

By Trish Svoboda

Twin births in beef herds require special management, according to experts at Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute. Twins are more common than people think and need close monitoring in the first 24 hours to ensure they receive colostrum. The main concern is ensuring both calves receive adequate nutrition.

It’s recommended to separate the cow and her twins for close monitoring. If the cow rejects a calf or can’t produce enough milk, grafting the calf to another cow or bottle-feeding may be necessary.

Twins often differ in size, with one usually more vigorous. Both calves’ health should be monitored to ensure they are thriving. Thriving calves will be active and run around, while ones that aren’t will be slow to get up and lack energy. To make monitoring easier, it’s suggested to keep cows with twins in the same pasture as first-calf heifers. This allows producers to easily keep an eye on them and make sure they are receiving adequate nutrition and are maintaining good health.

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