Red hind with twins?

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Euan Tomes

Well-Known Member
How often is it that red hinds have twins? And before you start saying that one of the hinds was hidden, both the calfs were suckling from her at the same time. Also when they eventually saw me they moved of together, neither of the calfs hesitating or looking around for another hind, just straight of across the field.




Well-Known Member
Euan, I think not often. Lee McNally, in "Highland Year" said that at one time it was reckoned that it never happened, but he also observed just what you have and was satisfied it was indeed twins. I imagine, after this good summer, a lot of beasts will be in superb condition later in the year. Might this mean more twins next year? What, of course, does "more twins" mean. Maybe not many.


Well-Known Member
I have a 21 year old hind who throws twin stag calves every year and has done for the last 9 years !



Long Ranger

New Member
In the right conditions it will happen in hill deer, we see it fairly frequently - this year we have a hind with twins and she did the same two years ago but only one made the following spring.

Double four

Well-Known Member
Been regularly watching a particular herd of reds over the last few years, never yet seen twins all have been singles.


Well-Known Member
We see a set of twins now and again, It may be that twns will be seen more often, with big deer reductions there should be more food available, so more hinds will have the body wieght to hold and more pregnacies will get full term and not be re-absorbed. It's likely that hinds that throw twins ,always throw twins and just available food/weather decide if they continue as twins to full term or are re-absorbed . I have also seen an older hind suckle one of her grandaughters and her own calf, which i would have assumed were twins if not for a clear age /size difference and that they split back to their respective mothers.


Well-Known Member
Since 1961 I have shot hundreds and observed thousands of mountain Reds. Only on ONE occasion I have seen twins or twin foetus locally.
In the late 60s I shot a large adult hind which was the group leader and upon gralloching found these twin foetus.

The late Lea McNally had produced a set of genuine twins from one of his semi-tame hinds at Torridon and I sent him a photo and letter regarding my pair.
It was the start of a lifetime friendship and I often visited him whilst in Scotland.



Well-Known Member
good point above. how many times have people found twin foetuses in a red hind. youll hear a lot of people claim to have seen live twins, not as clear cut as the first example though, but theres no denying it when you see 2 foetuses inside a beast.


Well-Known Member
Euan, it's very rare in Highland deer though it happens from time to time in Park deer
Like you I have seen a hind with two calves but this is no guarantee that they are both hers as red hinds will sometimes allow calves other than their own to feed,they have also been known to adopt orphaned calves.

In the 1980s I was involved in a 5 year study covering several Highland estates , all hinds culled were examined ,and in that period not one case of twin foetuses were found.

An interesting subject Euan, and you may have been lucky enough see genuine twins , a rare thing indeed.
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