Freemartin testing

Identify Freemartin calves with DNA testing to avoid wasting time and money, and raising infertile animals.

About Freemartins

A Freemartin is an infertile female calf born as a twin to a male.  Freemartins become infertile from being exposed to male hormones in the uterus.

About 90% of female calves with a male twin are Freemartins. They have both X and Y chromosomes in their blood, unlike normal heifers which have only X chromosomes.  

Freemartins are easy to identify when their male twin is born alive. But occasionally the male twin dies during pregnancy or is stillborn and may be missed during the busy calving period.

That means you may end up spending time and money raising an infertile animal.

The larger your herd the more likely you are to have an unidentified Freemartin.   

Gene test to identify Freemartins

Identify Freemartins with a DNA test to detect Y chromosomes in a calf’s blood. 

If you suspect you have an affected animal, ask your vet to take a 10ml blood sample and send it to our laboratory in a purple top blood tube, along with a completed Individual Animal Submission Form — tick Freemartin to indicate the test you want. 

You can also use the test to decide whether to cull a female calf with a male twin born to one of your top cows. There’s a 10% chance they won’t be a Freemartin — and worth keeping to protect your herd’s genetic value.  

Individual Animal Submission Form

Getting the results

We’ll email the results to you four weeks after we receive the sample.

Find out more

Call our GeneMark Laboratory on 0800 436 362 to find out more about the Freemartin DNA test.

Freemartin test price

Test

Sample type

Results turnaround time

Price (per sample)

Test Freemartin (xx/xy chimera test)

Sample type Purple vacutainer blood sample only

Results turnaround time 4 weeks

Price (per sample) $91.80

Book a Freemartin test

Identify Freemartins with a DNA test. Send a 10ml blood sample to our laboratory, along with a completed Individual Animal Submission form. 

Download form

Book a Freemartin test

Identify Freemartins with a DNA test. Send a 10ml blood sample to our laboratory, along with a completed Individual Animal Submission form. 

Download form