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  • Writer's pictureJ. A. Thomas

OWT Using tail switch to tell if it will be a heifer?

Updated: May 18, 2021

Ok, So I am intrigued by old wives tales and their bases as well as accuracy. Now before you just jump straight off the science cliff how many people do each of us know that ended up having a child of the opposite sex after depending on science and technology? Hmmm So when I hear a new one I just perk up and start asking questions. I know enough about science to make me dangerous in a lab but also know enough about history to know that most of the OWT's are based on someones or even a group of people noticing (observation for you scientist) something out of the ordinary. I know in our church there used to be ladies that would let a pregnant woman know what she was going to have, and be correct a very high percentage of the time. Now for the first guess you could say she had a 50% chance of being right which is correct. However over time her chances of guessing correct gets slimmer and slimmer so maybe there was something to it. Maybe these OWT's have merit and maybe not, maybe when they are wrong maybe it's an operator error and maybe not!!!

So now to the this particular OWT. There are those that say if the tail of the pregnant cow is twisted it will be of one gender and if straight it will be the other gender. This year I had 5 cows expecting and 4 calves born so far. I would say that so far I could see how the wives tale started. Albeit with some interpretation of straight and twist. Having observed these cows over time I can see that some of them are 'straight'er than before and others are twisted more than before. So here is the verdict so far?

Going from left to right we have the first is definitely straight but has not calved yet. From the others I am going to say heifer and try to update this once she calves. #2 had a heifer but her tail is straighter than before. Still wavy but not curly or twisted #3 Now this is where the observation part comes in. This cow was more twisted last year and in this picture is still wavy but straight'er than before and she had a heifer. #4 is not twisted together but definitely curly and maybe the static has separated the twist and she had a bull. #5 the last one had a bull and most definitely has the twisted tail switch.

I hope to try and keep up with this OWT for a few years at least. I plan to do it with pictures. Since longhorn people take pictures of their cows over tiem to watch the horns grow I am hopeful that I can do it and update the progress.

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