One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hermaphrodite or imperfect sterile female calf which is the twin of a male calf whose hormones affected its development.
- ‘The external appearance of a freemartin may vary from an apparently normal female to a somewhat masculinized individual.’
- ‘In cattle, there is a phenomenon called the freemartin.’
- ‘The odds that she is a freemartin is really high.’
- ‘If someone sold a 6-9 month old heifer at the sale barn I would assume they were intended as feeders, but how would they know (unless they knew they were twins to bulls) that they were freemartins at that young an age?’
- ‘Lillie looked at the anatomical characteristics of the freemartin, the sexually abnormal co-twin of a male calf, usually possessing female as well as male external genitalia.’
- ‘Thus primates differ from cattle in which the freemartin animal is frequently infertile and virilized.’
- ‘Also the male co-twins to freemartins are usually considered to be normal and fertile, although a few may have underdeveloped testicles and some may have reduced fertility.’
- ‘Also, the ovaries of a freemartin do not produce the hormones necessary to induce the behavioral signs of heat.’
- ‘One heifer was later found as a freemartin and, therefore, was excluded from the trial.’
- ‘Of the 42 animals studied, 10 freemartins were found with variable percentages of male and female blood cells, the majority however showing similar percentages of both.’
- ‘These females are referred to as ‘freemartins’, don't ask me why.’
- ‘Although the external genitalia of the freemartin may appear normal, the internal organs are abnormal in greater or lesser degrees.’
- ‘Consequently, freemartins are sterile and are usually slaughtered or sold for beef.’
Late 17th century: of unknown origin.
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