In the world of baby calves, a single birth is the norm. Twins also come along, and they may account for 5% or more of births depending on the farm.
I’ve even heard of triplets, but we’ve never had any born here that I know of.
Two years ago on July 10th, two little black heifer (girl) twins entered the world. They looked more identical than any twin calves I’d ever seen, and I hoped they would both grow up big and healthy.
Cattle twins are a little different than human twins. If a heifer calf is born twin to a bull (boy), the chances are overwhelming she will be sterile and unable to ever get pregnant. Around here we call these females freemartins, but I’m sure there are other terms across different areas. If a heifer never has a baby then she can never give milk either. That means instead of becoming a dairy cow she’ll spend her life fat and happy being raised for meat. Which I think is still an important and noble purpose.
However, I prefer it when we can keep the heifers around for awhile as milk cows. These are twin girls, as I said, and they are both due with their first calf within the next month. August 1 and July 31 respectively.
It’s amazing to me how often I see them hanging out near each other. Do they know they’re sisters??
I posted these 2-year-old birthday pictures on social media and got mostly positive reactions. Someone did comment that neither heifer looked very happy to be having a birthday. To this I say, “I’m still having a hard time getting cows to smile on command!”
Speaking of birthdays, I happen to be having one myself very soon. 29 forever. 😉
I actually wouldn’t want to stay 29 forever. Good things happen with each passing year, and as a runner I also appreciate moving into older age groups. Though I will say a lot of 30-something’s are often faster then us 20-something’s!
I hope you enjoyed meeting my birthday girls. Enjoy the thick of summer — because mid-July is about as thick as it gets.