The Birthday Girls

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.

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I know you can’t see the twin behind very well, but this is the only baby picture I could find in my archives.

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??

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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. πŸ˜‰

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.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Baby Calf Care, Cows and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Birthday Girls

  1. Rebecca says:

    Happy early birthday! And yes, the cows do look unimpressed to be having their pictures taken. How old is 2 in cow years?

    • Lisa says:

      I don’t know if there’s an official conversion for cow years, but I’d say give or take it’s about 10 years to 1. So it’s kind of like they’re turning 20!

  2. Lisa Wuertz says:

    Happy Birthday, Lisa!!!

  3. Happy July birthday! My birthday is also in July. It’s a good month, though growing up I always wished my birthday was during the school year so I could bring a birthday treat like everyone else.

    • Lisa says:

      Happy birthday to you Kathy! I also remember being bummed to not have birthday treats during the school year.

      • LifeisBeachyKeen says:

        Growing up I always wanted a summer birthday so I could have a pool party …granted, Florida could be hot enough to have a pool party in December, it’s not likely to happen.

        Happy Belated Birthday!

        Those cows do look remarkably alike!

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