Comments: This is currently being sent to Vet Genetics Lab in California.
What is a Freemartin?
Freemartinism is recognized as one of the most significant forms of sexual abnormality among cattle. This condition causes infertility in the female cattle born twin to a male. When a heifer twin shares the uterus with a bull fetus, they also share the placental membrances connecting the fetuses with the dam.
Draw three to 5 ml of blood into a vial with a green or lavender stopper. Label the vial with the animal’s identification – tattoo, tag or unique identification. Only fresh, whole blood can be used for freemartin testing. Do not freeze or overheat the blood. Ship the sample via courier after it has been drawn.
Understanding the Test:
The Freemartin PCR test is a genetic test done on the whole blood of your twin heifer. The test looks for the presence of the Y chromosome (male sex chromosome) in the blood.
If the test finds the presence of the Y chromosome, the test is positive for freemartinism and the test findings are consistent with the heifer being a freemartin.
If the Y chromosome is not detected, the test findings are consistent with the heifer being a normal female bovine.
This testing does not rule out infertility due to causes other than freemartinism.
This testing does not include an evaluation for other cytogenetic abnormalities.