Garland farmers birth rare healthy triplet calves

Mar 8, 2018, 8:46 PM | Updated: 8:47 pm

GARLAND – The odds of birthing triplet Holstein cows is about one in 100,000, according to farmer, Vaughn Hess. Even more rare than that, is having all three remain healthy. Hess says one family of cows at his family farm are beating the odds and then some.

What seemed like an average winter morning on Dec. 12, proved to be very unusual for Hess. He walked out to the farm around 7 a.m. to see if any cows were calving. He found one.

“I see just the first calf being born, and it’s a heifer, but a small calf, so I say, ‘Well, there’s another one,'” Hess recalled. “So I hurried and pulled that one out of there, and then I went to get some milk to feed the calves out of the barn. I came back, and she’s pushing again.”

Barry Hess, scoops feed for new calves.

Hess helped birth a surprise third calf. There were two steer, and the one heifer.

“Even if they’re born alive, something can happen,” Hess said. “Even with twins, they’re hard to raise.”

Three months later, all three are very healthy. On top of that, their mother is recovering well, which Hess said is also extremely rare.

“Lots of cows that have twins even, the mother doesn’t milk as good, and they’ll kind of get sick,” Hess explained. “But she did fine. She took right off, and started milking good and everything.”

The three triplet calves appeared energetic, and curious Friday. Their ears perked up as a KSL camera drew near.

“See how their ears are perking up? That means they’re feeling good,” Hess explained. “And you see that coat, how it shines?”

However, while all indications are that the three triplets and their mother will continue to live a happy life, they do live on a farm. And as Hess points out, the heifer calf will likely not be able to reproduce, as often happens in these cases of multiple births.

“She’ll have to be fattened up for beef,” Hess explained. “The two steers will be fattened for beef too, so they’ll end up on somebody’s plate.”

Barry Hess, scoops feed for new calves. Vaughn Hess explains how he discovered a 3rd calf being born. Vaughn Hess points out the mother of the triplet calves on his family farm in Garland. Barry Hess
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Garland farmers birth rare healthy triplet calves