2020 Results

Click here for Historic results 2010-2019

This year we weighed our autumn born calves twice, on 14th Oct and again on the 23rd Dec. The calves were weaned on 26th Nov.  it is important to emphasize that twins and singles have been run together all the time. 2020 has been a very good pasture year, winter was not too wet and spring has been fantastic.

There are several points of interest shown in the following tables

Table 1: October Weights (Kg)

 SingleTwinRatio twin vs single

Table 2: December Weights (Kg)

 SingleTwinRatio twin vs single

Table 3 Weight gain per day, October to December

 SingleTwinRatio twin vs single

Table 4; Hip Height December (cms)

 SingleTwinRatio twin vs single

Body Condition Score December (1 -9 scale, 5-6 about optimum)

 SingleTwinRatio twin vs single

These results show very little penalty from being born a twin in weight or size by 10 months of age and in fact there is evidence of some compensatory growth in the twins. For this year, a cow with twins has produced 190% of the calf weight of a cow with a single.

In the past we have reported compensatory growth in twin born calves post weaning. Also, we reported that twin born heifers got on calf just as well as singles when mated at 15 months of age. In spite of the widespread industry belief that twins don’t grow as well as single this is not true!

2020 calving and mating

In 2020, 30% of our cows have successfully weaned twin calves and are looking very well. Back in October, at about 7 months of age, twin born calves each weighed 250 Kg, while the singles weighed 278Kg. this means that a cow rearing twins this year will have produced 180% of the weaning weight of a cow with a single. At pregnancy examination in August, 63% of the herd were carrying twins. Both these results reflect a very good season.

2020 Weaner sales for Admetus Composite Twinners

Our steer calves were sold in the Independent agents Hereford and Euro weaner sale on 8/1/2020 at Hamilton. Calving started March 7th. The calves were yard weaned on 25/11. They gained 31 Kg in 52 days = 0.6 kg/d on drying pastures since weighing.

Our herd did it very tough in winter and the calves were not as well grown as I had hoped for.

Results for the Steers (6 males retained as possible bulls all others included). The calves were weighed while still on the mother on 17/11. Singles (n=12) were 275Kg, twins (n=15) were 233Kg, Average = 252 Kg. On an individual calf basis, Twins = 233/275 = 85% of a single. Or on a per cow basis Twins 466/275 = 169% of a single bearer The calves were sold on 8/1. The agents drafted them into 2 lines. The top line consisted of mainly singles , but did include 2 twins, while the second line did include 2 singles, thus for most practical purposes we could say the top line was singles and the second line was twins. The top line (n=13) weighed 322Kg @ 270 C =$869.4. The second line (n= 14) weighed 247Kg @ 234C = $578. Average weight = 283Kg and average price = $718.3 (total = $19,393.9)

I thought the price for both lines was a little disappointing, but especially for the second line, however these seconds were among the lighter weights of the calves offered and we also probably suffered a discount for the variation in coat colour etc (they were not recognised as an even line of one of the recognised breeds). There might be a case for selling in a different way (retained ownership till slaughter?) Even so in dollar terms a cow with twins produced $ 1156/869.4 = 133% of a cow with a single.

The calves were 45 Kg lighter than last year’s calves on sale day. The prices in cents/kg was only slightly less than we received last year.