A freemartin or free-martin (sometimes martin heifer) is an infertile female mammal with Freemartinism is the normal outcome of mixed-sex twins in all cattle species that have been studied, and it also occurs occasionally in other mammals. J Am Vet Med Assoc. May 15;(10) Diagnosis of freemartinism in cattle: the need for clinical and cytogenic evaluation. Zhang T(1), Buoen LC. Freemartinism is recognized as one of the most severe forms of sexual abnormality among cattle. This condition causes infertility in the female.

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In some cases, there are no symptoms of freemartinism because the male twin may have been aborted at an earlier stage of gestation. Because of a transfer of hormones or a transfer of cells, the heifer’s reproductive tract is severely underdeveloped and sometimes even contains some elements of a bull’s reproductive tract.

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By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Fresmartinism Policy. We concluded that some obvious freemartins were eliminated prior to submission of samples for confirmatory cytogenetic diagnosis, and that only a small percentage of the estimated 93, female calves born co-twin to male calves annually are so examined. A female twin born with a male twin has no reproductive value, it is important not to spend time and money preparing the heifer to go into your breeding cartle.

Freemartin – Wikipedia

The uterus is also underdeveloped, and the reproductive tract does not supply sufficient hormones necessary to maintain a pregnancy. Freemartins are occasionally used in stem cell and immunology research. Freemartinism is recognized as one of the most severe forms of sexual abnormality among cattle. If suspected, a test can be done to detect the presence of the male Y-chromosomes in some circulating white blood cells of the subject.


All freemartiinsm needing factual verification Wikipedia articles fattle factual verification from May From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Freemartins are known to have been described by the Roman writer Varrowho called them “taura”.

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The male twin is largely unaffected by the fusion, freemarrinism the size of the testicles may be slightly reduced. Registration VAT No. Lilliewho published it in Science in It was hypothesized early in the 20th century that masculinizing factors travel from the male twin to the female twin through the vascular connections of the placenta because of the vascular fusion, and thereby affect the internal anatomy of the female.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. General and Comparative Endocrinology. Physical examination of the calf may also reveal differences: A total of blood samples from female calves born co-twin to male calves were examined cytogenetically for freemartinism between and One estimate Dreemartinism puts the percentage at about.

Lillie and the question of priority”. The freemartin freemaartinism allows one to analyze perfectly healthy and unmanipulated animals, without resorting to transplantation often used in stem cell research.

Journal of Dairy Science.


A freemartin is genetically female, but has many characteristics of a male. The twins develop with some sex characteristics of both the male and female. Views Read Edit View history. Freemartinism is one of the most severe forms of sexual abnormality among cattle.

Male-derived cells and their progeny can be easily visualized in the freemartin tissues, as only they contain the male Y chromosome. Image Reprinted from http: The presence of male hormones impairs the development of the female reproductive system. For example the vulva may be normal, but there may be large amounts of hair present or the udder will not be fully developed and sometimes it is not noticeable at first glance.

In some cases, the female genitalia may appear to be male.

This condition causes infertility in the female cattle born twin to a male. Molecular and Developmental Evolution. Also, the ovaries of a freemartin do not produce the hormones necessary to induce the behavioral signs of heat. Can freemartinism be seen externally?

Freemartinism cannot be prevented. However, the reproductive organs freemartknism the male fetus develop earlier than those of a female fetus, which results in the female genitalia being affected. The fetus is genetically female, but male hormones dominate its reproductive system. This information published to the web on March 19, Bovine health Twin Sex.