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Surviving twin filly fertile?

From: Martha

Hi, I just found your web site. I have a quick question, if you have a minute. If a mare has twins and one dies at birth ( a male) and the live one is a female, will she be able to have foals? Thank you, Martha

Hi Martha - the answer is that most likely she WILL be fertile. This is just one more example of the many ways in which horses are different from cattle. In cattle, a female twin carried with a male twin will be sterile, due to connections between the developing twins' blood vessels and a resulting infusion of male hormones from the male twin. The term for this is "freemartin syndrome", so if you're ever offered a "freemartin" heifer, don't buy her if you're hoping for breeding stock. ;-)

Horses are different - a filly with a colt twin can grow up to become fertile and have foals of her own.


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