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17th February, 2019

Scanning cows reveals adverse effect of transferring 2 embryos

On a farm visit outside Portlaoise, Co. Laois, we visited a suckler farmer who presented a cow which had been used as a recipient in an embryo transfer programme. The Limousin cow used for superovulation had produced 20 unfertilized eggs and 2 poor embryos. The technician decided to transfer both embryos into the 1 recipient. Scanning revealed that both embryos were viable having established pregnancy of 60 days, as these are unilateral twins, the risk of foetal death is much greater. In addition foetal sexing revealed that the twins consisted of a bull and a heifer. There is a very high probability that the heifer will be a freemartin.